Former Amaya CEO David Baazov and associates Yoel Altman and Benjamin Ahdoot have been successful in getting 23 insider trading related charges thrown out in a Quebec Court following a flawed prosecution process by the Quebec securities regulator the Autorité des marches financiers (AMF).
On Wednesday Quebec judge Salvatore Mascia granted Baazov defence’s third motion to stay proceedings after rejecting two prior efforts, criticising flaws in the prosecution process.
Earlier, evidence had been led that the defence had “inadvertently” furnished Baazov’s defence team with some 320,000 privileged documents that it should not have seen (see previous reports).
During the six week trial Judge Mascia rejected two previous motions for a stay in prosecution by the defence which were based on delays in bringing the case to trial, and allegations that the prosecution was not disclosing evidence in a timely fashion.
In accepting the defence’s third motion for a stay in proceedings, Judge Mascia excoriated the AMF for its inept prosecution of the case, which he said lacked rigour, leading to an accumulation of errors that necessitated a stay in proceedings.
In a statement the AMF expressed disappointment at the ruling and said it would be studied to decide on whether an appeal process should be launched.
Baazov and his associates all pleaded not guilty to the insider trading charges, which originated in the US$4.9 billion, 2014 acquisition by Amaya of the Rational Group, parent company of PokerStars.