Business

Jerome Kerviel prosecutor calls for prison sentence

Jerome Kerviel arriving at court
Image caption Mr Kerviel faces four years in jail if convicted

The prosecutor in the trial of Jerome Kerviel has called for the former Societe Generale trader to spend four years in prison, if convicted.

Mr Kerviel is standing trial over allegations that he bet 50bn euros ($61bn; £41bn) of SocGen's money without the bank's knowledge.

The bank says his actions cost it around 5bn euros.

Mr Kerviel, whose lawyer said he would fight the prosecution's call, maintains the bank knew about his risk taking.

He is facing charges of forgery, breach of trust and unauthorised computer use.

The maximum sentence for the allegations is five years.

In his summing up of the case, prosecutor Jean-Michel Aldebet has requested the maximum sentence, but with one year suspended.

The trial has seen Mr Kerviel's former bosses and colleagues line up to testify against him.

SocGen's lawyer, Jean Veil, accused Mr Kerviel of "duplicity" for reassuring his bosses that nothing was wrong while racking up the huge losses.

On Tuesday, the bank's president and chief executive at the time of the losses, Daniel Bouton, called the trading scandal a "catastrophe".

"It's not an issue of losses or amounts," he told the courtroom.

"The trust that should exist between us is shattered. I cannot believe for one second any of Jerome Kerviel's supervisors were aware [of his actions]."

Mr Bouton maintained that Mr Kerviel's actions were unauthorised, and "outside any remit".

But he acknowledged that there had been flaws in SocGen's risk management systems.

At the start of the trial earlier this month, Mr Kerviel said his superiors at the bank had "encouraged" him to take risks.

The bank was fined 4m euros by French regulators for failures in those systems following the scandal.

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