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Former Amaya CEO Urges Dismissal Of Case Due To AMF’s Delay

David Baazov, the founder and former CEO of Amaya Gaming wants his insider-trading case dismissed by the Quebec court, citing delays from the prosecution.

Baazov and his lawyers filed a motion in October with the Quebec court to have his charges dropped.

This means that Baazov wants the court to discontinue prosecution, saying the prosecuting side has been too slow in providing evidence and has delayed bringing the case to trial.

Baazov and two other defendants have been fighting 23 criminal charges of insider trading, filed by Quebec securities regulator Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF) in March 2016. Baazov has been charged with five counts of securities fraud and is accused of possessing insider information that led him to manipulate and influence the market price of Amaya. If found guilty, Baazov and his co-defendants will be facing steep fines and prison time.

In February 2017, Judge Claude Leblond of the Quebec Court set the trial to start on November 20, which is estimated to run for 13 weeks. The prosecution took a lot of time in building its case and only on September 21 decided to turn over to the defense more than 16 million documents that will be used as evidence in the case.

According to Baazov’s lawyers, the prosecution failed to conduct a proper investigation prior to charging the defendants, which has led to the delay in the proceedings. Defense attorney Sophie Melchers said that it would take the defense a minimum of six months to organize and analyze the 3.7 terabytes of data provided by the prosecution, which will result in further delay.

The turned-over files are related to AMF’s investigations of over a dozen people, including Baazov’s brother, Josh Baazov. The data dump is also known as Project Bronze. The Quebec Court will hear the motion by David Baazov and his lawyers on December 11. If the six-month extension is deemed worthy by the court, that will push back the original April 2018 conclusion and July 2018 verdict dates.

The Supreme Court in Canada made a ruling in 2016, often referred to as the Jordan ruling that requires cases similar to Baazov’s to be completed within an 18-month time frame. When the delays are taken into account, it would put Baazov’s trial at 37 months in court. The prosecution would then have to prove that the delays have been caused by exceptional circumstances to go forward with the proceedings and win the defense’s motion to stay.

It is interesting to note that more than 200 criminal cases have already been dismissed because of the Jordan ruling in Canada.


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