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Rogue trader Kerviel walks free with electronic tag

French trader Jerome Kerviel leaves Fleury-Merogis prison near Paris, 8 September 2014.
French trader Jerome Kerviel leaves Fleury-Merogis prison near Paris, 8 September 2014. Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

French trader Jérôme Kerviel won conditional release and left prison on Monday being ordered to wear an electronic tag. 

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"I am super happy to leave today", said Kerviel as he left the prison,"I want to rebuild my life (...) have a normal life with my loved ones, start a family."

Kerviel, imprisoned after losing French bank Société Générale 4,9 billion euros, has spent five months in the Parisian prison of Fleury Merogis, before winning conditionnal release.

Under the terms of his release, Kerviel will have to wear an electronic tag, until June 2015, at any time and stay at home between 8:30 pm and 7:00 am from Monday to Friday.

"It is true that an electronic tag is a constraint but it's not the same constraint as being here", said Kerviel's lawyer David Koubbi.

Originally Kerviel was sentenced to three years in prison in May.

Kerviel became something of a cause célèbre in France and overseas, even winning an audience with Pope Francis, as many see him being unfairly scapegoated for the failings of the wider financial system.

"Today is a day of immense joy for us", said his lawyer, but the "fight" against Kerviel's former employer would continue.

Kerviel has never denied making big gambles, "My daily existence was about making money for the bank", he said before he was imprisoned, "That was my only objective, at any price, regardless of all moral or ethical considerations".

Despite dealing with such sums of money, he was on a relatively modest 50,000 euros salary per year and lived in a small flat.

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