Two former traders jailed in Euribor rate-rigging case

  • Published
Canary WharfImage source, Getty Images

Two former traders have been jailed for plotting to rig the Euribor global interest rate.

Former Deutsche Bank employee Christian Bittar, 46, was sentenced to five years and four months at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday.

Philippe Moryoussef, 50, a former Barclays trader, was sentenced to eight years after a jury unanimously convicted him last week.

He did not take part in the trial after skipping bail and going to France.

Earlier on Thursday, the Serious Fraud Office said it would seek a retrial of three former Barclays traders after the jury failed to reach a verdict following the 11-week trial.

A lawyer for the SFO told the court that Carlo Palombo, Sisse Bohart and Colin Bermingham would face a second trial.

The three were also facing charges of conspiring to defraud by dishonestly manipulating Euribor rates between 2005 and 2009.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Philippe Moryoussef did not attend the Euribor trial

Mr Bohart's lawyer, John Milner said: "We have made detailed written submissions to the SFO... that it would not be in the public interest to re-try our client, but sadly those submissions have been ignored in a single sentence reply. We will continue to fight the good fight."

The SFO argues Euribor - the Euro Interbank Offered Rate - was rigged to benefit traders at Barclays and Deutsche Bank between January 2005 and December 2009.

Euribor is a key euro benchmark borrowing rate, underpinning about $180 trillion of financial products, and the accuracy of the rate is important to maintaining trust in the financial system.

Mr Moryoussef's lawyer, Francois De Castro, said convicting his client in absence violated his fundamental rights and no European arrest warrant had been issued against him.

As a result, Mr Moryoussef would appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, he added.