Baazov lawyers request insider trading charges be dismissed

News on 25 Nov 2017

The insider trading charges against former Amaya founder and CEO David Baazov (see previous reports) are set for trial in the Court of Quebec on December 11, but if Baazov’s legal representatives succeed the case will be dismissed on that date.

The charges arise from alleged unethical and illegal exchanges of insider information in the 2014 run-up to Amaya’s spectacular $4.9 billion purchase of Rational Group, since rebranded as The Stars Group,

In a submission filed last month, Baazov’s legal team argued that Quebec securities regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers has taken far too long to bring the case before the court. The regulator charged Baazov and two other individuals with 23 counts of insider trading back in March 2016.

The first trial date set for the defendants was November 20, but it is claimed that the prosecution only provided the defence with a vast amount of documentary evidence from an associated case against the defendants late in September.

The late delivery of such a massive amount of documentation presented problems for the defence, giving it insufficient time to thoroughly examine and interrogate the data, the defence team has pleaded, noting that technology specialists have estimated it will take up to five weeks just to organise the material into a useful form. This delay has prejudiced the defence, the lawyers suggest.

Sophie Melchers, head of the legal team defending Baazov, is also unhappy with the “precipitous” manner in which the case against her client was launched, claiming that this was done “…before the investigation was sufficiently advanced, and without a significant amount of relevant evidence being gathered, much less analyzed.”

Melchers pointed to a Supreme Court of Canada ruling – the Jordan ruling – from July 2016 regarding Canadian citizens’ right to timely justice. This imposes a deadline of 18 months between the filing of charges and the commencement of trial proceedings in a provincial court.

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