AMAYA SECURITIES PROBE HEARS CLOSING ARGUMENTS
AMF lawyer questions Baazov's failure to appear personally to proclaim innocence.
The Canadian securities tribunal considering allegations that 12 associates of former Amaya CEO David Baazov received insider information that enabled them to profit resumed its hearing in Montreal Wednesday, CTV News reports.
L'Autorité des marchés financiers lawyer Philippe Levasseur questioned in his final argument why Baazov has not appeared before the panel to proclaim his innocence on allegations that he provided the inside information.
He went on to advise the tribunal that the AMF investigation on the issue was still on-going and asked that the allegations against Baazov should remain unamended. The tribunal has ordered that the bank and trading accounts of the 12 named individuals in the case be frozen, but that order does not include David Baazov.
Baazov faces criminal charges before a Quebec court, including influencing or attempting to influence the market price of the securities of Amaya and communicating privileged information.
He remains a major shareholder in Amaya, and has consistently denied any wrongdoing in its affairs.
Levasseur claimed that AMF investigators have not had access to the cell phones or home computers of key players such as Baazov's brother, Josh, and business partner Craig Levett. He said that because Baazov had changed his cell phone in 2014, the AMF had not been able to examine the original device and its contents.
And, he added, none of those involved in the allegations had co-operated with the authorities.
InfoPowa readers will recall that in an earlier sitting of the tribunal AMF chief investigator Xavier Saint-Pierre admitted that there was no direct proof that privileged information was shared in phone calls preceding several corporate acquisitions, but circumstantial evidence pointed to such conduct.
Under cross-examination by Baazov's legal representative Sophie Melchers, Saint-Pierre claimed he never viewed public information, including market rumors and news releases, that could have explained heavy trading activity and share price fluctuations of companies traded by the defendants, family and friends.
Levasseur re-visited that evidence Wednesday, suggesting that such a situation was not uncommon in this type of case, and urging the tribunal to maintain focus on the big picture as has been detailed in the chronology of emails, text messages and phone calls that were placed around the time of planned acquisitions and the trading activity that followed.
Melchers will provide her closing comments when the hearing resumes today (Thursday.)