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Inquiry: Cypriot crisis is ex-president's fault

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) -- An independent inquiry has concluded that Cyprus' former president is primarily responsible for the financial crisis that brought the country to near bankruptcy and resulted in a painful financial rescue.

The three-member panel said in its non-binding report Monday that Dimitris Christofias pursued "reckless" economic policies, ignored warnings over spending and worsened problems by delaying talks on an international bailout.

Christofias earlier argued the inquiry was "illegal" and the report "fraught with untruths and slander" that offered cover to the real culprits, whom he argued were the banks.

Cyprus' March agreement with its eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund forced huge losses on uninsured depositors in the country's two biggest banks. The deal drained trust in the banks and prompted authorities to impose capital controls to prevent a run.