David Baazov, the former Amaya Inc. CEO charged with insider trading, saw the first day of his trial consumed by a motion by his defense to dismiss the case due to prosecutor’s moving too slowly in releasing evidence for discovery.
The trial began 20 months after Quebec’s securities regulator charged Baazov with insider trading involving Amaya’s purchase of PokerStars.
The Autorité des marchés financiers charged Baazov with aiding with trades while in possession of privileged information, influencing or attempting to influence the market price of Amaya securities and communicating privileged information.
The AMF charges that Baazov and two accomplices conspired to raise the price of Amaya stock in the lead-up to its $4.9-billion purchase of PokerStars. Baazov is charged with providing privileged information.
Baazov, however, wants the case dismissed saying the regulator has not released documents to his defense in a reasonable time and moved to stay the proceedings, which is now being considered by Justice Salvatore Mascia.
Baazov’s lawyers say the AMF released 16 million items in late September and then released more documents just days before the trial. They also noted that the AMF later advised them that the vast majority of these items were communicated in error according to Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper.
They argued that the defense has not had time to review all of the information and a final verdict in the case would not be likely before July. Canada’s Supreme Court has made rulings outlining an 18-month limit for court cases, but it was not clear how Justice Mascia will rule on the motion, the paper said.