French probe into 'rogue trader' press leaks

11th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

French prosecutors are investigating the media leaking of messages between Jerome Kerviel and a second trader.

   PARIS, March 11, 2008 - French prosecutors are investigating the
media leaking of messages between Jerome Kerviel, charged over the rogue trade scandal at Societe Generale, and a second trader, an official said Monday.
   Excerpts of instant messaging conversations between the 31-year-old Kerviel
and a trader who worked for Societe Generale subsidiary Fimat were published
on February 9 on the website Nouvel Observateur weekly.
   Their publication came as the trader was brought before a judge for
questioning over possible links to the 4.9 billion euro (7.1 billion dollar)
   The Fimat trader's lawyer Jean-David Scemama filed suit for fraud over the
publication of some of the messages in the press, which he said "can lead to
believe that the two men were accomplices."
   Prosecutors opened a probe on February 25 for violation of professional
secrecy and violation of the ban on publishing procedural acts, the judicial
official said.
   Some 1,600 pages of instant messaging texts sent from September 2007 to
January 2008 have been seized by police investigating charges that Kerviel
falsified documents and stole computer codes to cover up his unauthorized
   One message sent by the broker to Kerviel in December 2007 read, "You have
done nothing illegal according to the law," press reports said.
   The second trader has been named as an assisted witness in the case and has been twice questioned by judges about his relationship with Kerviel.
   Kerviel is charged with breach of trust, fabricating documents and
illegally accessing computers.
   While he has insisted he acted alone, Kerviel has suggested that his bosses
knew that he was dealing with huge sums of money and that they turned a blind
eye as long as he was not in the red.


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