French rogue trader Kerviel heads back to court

GMT 01:43 2016 Thursday ,16 June

Arab Today, arab today French rogue trader Kerviel heads back to court

French rogue trader Jerome Kerviel
Versailles - AFP

French rogue trader Jerome Kerviel, whose actions almost bankrupted one of Europe's biggest banks, headed back to court Wednesday as Societe Generale seeks to recover 4.9 billion euros ($5.5 billion) in losses and interest.

The trader was sentenced to three years in prison in 2010 but was released in September 2014 after spending less than five months behind bars.

He was convicted of breach of trust, forgery and entering false data, but claimed his bosses had turned a blind eye as long as the profits kept rolling in.

Kerviel was also initially ordered to compensate Societe Generale for the full amount of the money he lost.

But an appeal court overturned the order, arguing that the bank's internal oversight mechanisms had failed.

The new case will look at this aspect alone -- Societe Generale's role in its own losses.

Kerviel's defence lawyer David Koubbi argues that the bank made mistakes and that its system was dysfunctional.

"We will get to the bottom of this issue by revealing the evidence in our possession. It is up to the court to decide whether or not they are relevant," he said ahead of the hearing.

Kerviel has never denied taking risks -- at one point staking 50 billion euros ($69 billion) of the bank's money -- but maintains that his bosses were just as much at fault as he was.

On June 7, a Paris labour tribunal ordered Societe Generale to pay 450,000 euros in damages to Kerviel, saying he had been fired "without genuine or serious cause." The bank has appealed.


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