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Trader Kerviel's ex-boss calls him a liar in court

Reuters

The former boss of rogue trader Jerome Kerviel branded him a liar in court, saying that the 33-year-old had taken "inhuman" risks as he ran up nearly 50 billion euros worth of trades for Société Générale.

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"I still don't understand why Jérôme Kerviel did it ... and he has never said sorry," said Jean-Pierre Mustier, the former head of Société Génerale's investment division where Kerviel worked.

Kerviel is on trial for breach of trust, forgery and entering false computer data and throwing the company into crisis.

"How can he say he did it for the good of Société Générale, to earn it money? He is lying, as he has always lied," he told the court on Wednesday.

Société Générale, one of Europe's biggest banks, was forced to sort out nearly 50 billion euros of unauthorised trades after the fraud was discovered in January 2008.

Kerviel said in court that his bosses encouraged him to take risks and did not question excesses as long as the earnings came in. He also admitted to frequently passing trading limits and logging fake transactions to cover his gambles.

Mustier, 49, stepped down from his position in May 2008 after the Kerviel scandal hit. He left the company altogether in 2009.

Kerviel faces up to five years in jail and a 375,000 euro fine if convicted.

The hearing is set to end on 25 June and the court is slated to deliberate for several weeks before handing down a verdict.

 

 

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