French 'rogue' trader did no wrong
Lawyers for Jerome Kerviel he had done nothing wrong and blamed the bank for trying to divert attention from other losses
PARIS, January 27, 2008 - Lawyers for Jerome Kerviel, the trader fingered
in the Societe Generale scandal, said Sunday he had done nothing wrong and
blamed the bank for trying to divert attention from other losses.
Kerviel, "who was trained by the bank to make profits, has committed no
dishonest act, did not siphon off a single cent, and did not profit in any way
from the assets of the bank," Elisabeth Meyer and Christian
Charriere-Bournazel told AFP by telephone.
They also accused the bank of trying to "create a smokescreen which would
divert public attention from losses that were significantly more substantial
than those it accumulated in recent months", notably in the midst of the US
subprime mortgage crisis.
They went on to accuse Societe Generale of having liquidated with needless
haste the positions -- said by the bank to be in the vicinity of 50 billion
euros (73 billion dollars) -- that Kerviel had taken.
"It itself provoked losses of about 4.5 billion euros," the lawyers said.
Police were questioning Kerviel Sunday over the loss of 4.9 billion euros
by Societe Generale, and must decide Monday whether to release him or place
him under further investigation.
The bank has filed a criminal complaint against the trader accusing him of
using fraud to cover up failed deals worth billions.
Meyer and Charriere-Bournazel also denounced the "extraordinary media
lynching" of their client over the case, and accused Societe General bank
chairman Daniel Bouton of "feeding him to the wolves" through his public