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Ex Amaya CEO asks court to order the release of details in insider trading case

MONTREAL _ Former Amaya CEO David Baazov’s lawyer says the Quebec securities regulator’s disclosure of more than one million documents isn’t helping to defend against insider trading charges.

Sophie Melchers told a Quebec Court judge on Tuesday that although l’Autorite des marches financiers has provided waves of documents, it refuses to disclose specific details that support the charges it laid last year.

She says it’s impossible to wade through the blizzard of documents to pinpoint the basis for the charges in order to deliver a proper defence.

Melchers along with a lawyer for a co-accused and several companies have asked the court to order the AMF to provide details including dates of alleged infractions, specific stock trades and the identities of aliases to help them defend against allegations that they acted on information that was not known to the public.

Unlike other highlighted cases across Canada that listed specific information, she said the charges laid against Baazov and the others merely copied and pasted the applicable infractions.

Melchers told judge Salvatore Mascia that by being vague, AMF lawyers risk being able during the trial to test theories while questioning scores of witnesses and adjust strategies depending on the defence response.

Baazov has pleaded not guilty to five charges, including influencing or attempting to influence the market price of the securities of Amaya and communicating privileged information.

He was charged as part of an investigation by the Quebec securities regulator that resulted in 23 charges against three people _ Baazov, Yoel Altman and Benjamin Ahdoot _ and three companies: Diocles Capital Inc., Sababa Consulting Inc. and 2374879 Ontario Inc. They have all pleaded not guilty.

The lawyer for the province’s securities regulator will respond as the hearing wraps up Tuesday afternoon.

The charges stem from the alleged use of privileged information when trading company shares between December 2013 and the June 2014 announcement about Amaya’s US$4.9-billion deal to acquire the Oldford Group, which includes PokerStars.