Accused UBS "rogue trader" to take stand in his defense

Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:02pm EDT
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By Estelle Shirbon

LONDON (Reuters) - Former UBS UBSN.VX trader Kweku Adoboli will start telling his side of the story in court on Thursday, seeking to convince a jury that he did not act dishonestly when he made the trades that cost the Swiss bank $2.3 billion.

After listening quietly from the back of the London courtroom for six weeks as one after another of his former UBS colleagues took the witness stand, Adoboli is expected to begin giving evidence during the course of Thursday's hearing.

It will be the first time the 11 jurors hear the voice of the 32-year-old, British-educated Ghanaian, who used to work as a senior trader on the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) desk.

Adoboli was arrested at UBS's London offices in the middle of the night on September 15, 2011, hours after he sent an email to a back-office accountant explaining that he had booked fictitious trades to conceal losses made on "off-book" trades.

He has pleaded not guilty to two charges of fraud by abuse of position and two of false accounting. The charges cover two periods, from October 2008 to the end of May 2011, and from May 31 to September 15, 2011.

Under British law, the prosecution must prove not only that Adoboli's actions amounted to fraud and false accounting but also that his intentions were dishonest.

Adoboli's evidence will begin with questions from his own counsel, then he will be cross-examined by the prosecution.

The lawyers estimated beforehand that the entire process could take three days, although previous time estimates given in the trial have turned out to be short of the mark.   Continued...

Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli arrives at Southwark Crown Court in central London October 22, 2012. Adoboli is on trial accused of fraud and false accounting that cost the Swiss bank $2.3 billion. He has pleaded not guilty. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett