Kerviel Stalls Damages Case to June Amid New Criminal Trial Bid

  • Appeals judge says Kerviel remains guilty as things stand
  • Versailles court to examine substance of damages case in June

Jerome Kerviel won a temporary delay of a trial into whether he’s fully responsible for Societe Generale SA’s 4.9 billion-euro ($5.3 billion) losses until another court rules on the former trader’s bid for a re-examination of his criminal conviction.

As things stand Kerviel’s guilt is a fact and his bid doesn’t fundamentally change that from a legal standpoint, said Judge Patrick Wyon, a member of the three-judge panel that granted the delay in Versailles on Friday. The appeals court will resume the trial over damages on June 15-17.

While the French bank has systematically placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of Kerviel, a former police official in charge of probing the loss has cast doubt on that assertion. David Koubbi, Kerviel’s lawyer, has asked for a new criminal trial based on that testimony and France’s court of review and reassessment is set to rule on the matter on March 21.

In 2014, France’s highest appeals court upheld a verdict that found Kerviel guilty of abusing the bank’s trust, faking documents and entering false data into computers that resulted in the massive loss. Still, the court accepted his appeal contesting the bank’s claim that he was solely responsible for any losses that resulted from unwinding his trading positions.

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