Shares of Greece-based jewelry and accessory maker and retailer Folli Follie (FF) will be stricken from trading on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) as of Dec. 29, due to an ongoing five-year criminal case that has its founder and former top executives – notably members of the Koutsolioutsos family – in the dock on felony charges.
Beyond the actual indictment and veracity of the charges, the delays in adjudicating the case have again highlighted the delay-fraught and snail-paced Greek justice system and its inability to hand down decisions in a reasonable time period.
The trial was has not yet concluded in the first instance, with investors and suppliers remaining on the sidelines in anticipation in a verdict, something that will allow for the company’s salvation, sell-off or bankruptcy.
Although 22 court sessions have been conducted in five years, repeated abstentions by attorneys – adhering to bar associations’ reactions against draft bills on taxation and a criminal code revision – certain charges in the voluminous indictment are at risk of being thrown out due to a statute of limitations.
By all accounts the trial will resume on Jan. 10, 2024, with legal analysts expecting a first instance verdict in the first four months of the new year.
The felony charges refer to the establishment of a criminal racket, stock manipulation and forgery and concern Tzortzis Koutsolioutsos, his parents Dimitris and Katerina – the former being the company’s founder – and a number of executives from the company’s Asia subsidiary.