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No longer one of the most debt-ridden men in the world, but jail still likely for Kerviel

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No longer one of the most debt-ridden men in the world, but jail still likely for Kerviel

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Jerome Kerviel, the former rogue trader for French bank Société Générale, has lost his appeal against a three-year jail sentence.

But a civil ruling ordering him to pay a 4.9 billion euro fine has been overturned.

“It’s really good news (about the fine) but I’ll continue to walk,” he told journalists.

No longer one of the most debt-ridden men in the world, Kerviel is currently walking from Rome to Paris – a decision he made after a meeting with Pope Francis in February.

When told about the prison term he said: “The fight goes on.”

Kerviel became famous in 2008 when Société Générale revealed he had run up 38 billion euros of unauthorised trades.

His actions cost his former employer 4.9 billion euros – the biggest loss of its kind in history. Kerviel was originally ordered to reimburse this amount in full.

Patrice Spinosi, a member of his legal team, said the fight now goes to the Court of Appeal in Versailles, just outside Paris.

“A new case will open at the Court of Appeal, when Société Générale will need to demonstrate that it did not make any mistakes and that any mistakes made weren’t linked to the damages it is invoking,” Spinosi said.

Representatives of Société Générale have refuted Kerviel’s claim that it had turned a blind eye to his actions.

“We will go to the Versailles appeals court to explain what we have always said, which is that we only knew our system had weak spots at the time when the facts were discovered,” said Jean Veil, the bank’s lawyer. “We’ve since fixed the flaws.”

In 2010 Kerviel was sentenced to five years in prison with two years suspended after being found guilty of unauthorised computer use, forgery and breach of trust.

He has already served a reported 41 days of his jail term. It is not yet clear if or when he will be expected to return to serve the remainder of the sentence.