Rogue trader Kerviel accuses SocGen of forgery
By Lionel Laurent
PARIS (Reuters) - Former Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote) trader Jerome Kerviel, who is appealing a three-year prison sentence for his role in France's biggest rogue trading scandal, plans to sue his former employer for forgery and manipulation of evidence.
Kerviel, who told journalists on Friday he had gone through "hell" since the revelation in 2008 that SocGen had lost 4.9 billion euros ($6.5 billion) unwinding his risky bets, said that audio recordings used as evidence at his 2010 trial had been tampered with.
The lawsuit, if filed on Friday, will be the second in as many weeks leveled by Kerviel against SocGen ahead of his appeal, slated for June 4. Last week, Kerviel's lawyer David Koubbi filed a suit against SocGen for obtaining a verdict under false pretences and said on Friday he planned to file a second lawsuit. "We are filing a suit for forgery," Koubbi said.
For its part, Societe Generale dismissed the allegations, saying in a statement that Kerviel "was building media buzz" before his appeal. "This strategy aims to harm the image of the bank by taking elements from the court cases ... out of context or presenting them as new when they add nothing to the real issues."
Sitting in a converted Paris cinema and wearing an open-necked pink shirt, a steely faced Kerviel let his lawyer Koubbi do most of the talking.
Koubbi said earlier this month his team was given access to original audio recordings of Kerviel being interviewed by his superiors, a transcript of which was submitted as evidence. According to Koubbi, around half of the duration of the interviews had been cut.
"Over a total hearing time of 12 hours there are cuts totaling ... six hours," Koubbi said. "These tapes have been tampered with."
Kerviel said he clearly remembered saying to one of his superiors during these interviews that the bank was aware of his trades, something that SocGen has always denied. This was missing from the tapes, he said. Continued...