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Top French court throws out latest appeal by SocGen rogue trader

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Top French court throws out latest appeal by SocGen rogue trader
FILE PHOTO: Former trader Jerome Kerviel leaves the courthouse in Paris, France, March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo   -   Copyright  Charles Platiau(Reuters)
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By Emmanuel Jarry and Inti Landauro

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s highest court of appeal on Thursday rejected the latest appeal by former rogue trader Jerome Kerviel against his three-year jail sentence for causing a 4.9 billion euro (4.3 billion pounds) loss to Societe Generale.

The former trader was sentenced to jail after being convicted by a Paris court in October 2010 for breach of trust and fraud after making massive losses in unauthorised equity derivative trades in 2008.

The judges ruled Kerviel failed to present new facts to justify a fresh investigation. Societe Generale’s lawyer Jean Veil said left Kerviel was left with no further avenues to appeal his criminal conviction.

“Justice has triumphed,” Veil said.

However, Kerviel’s lawyer Julien Dami Le Coz said his client would keep fighting, without giving details of how he might do so. “It’s certainly not the end of the Kerviel case,” Dami Le Coz said.

The case has dogged France’s third largest bank for more than a decade, with Kerviel successively characterised as an irresponsible and greedy trader, a victim of the system and eventually a reformed criminal eager to denounce the excesses of the finance industry.

Kerviel, 41, has never denied masking his 50 billion euro positions but contends his managers should have been aware of his actions, something the bank has always rejected.

He served a few months in prison in 2014 before being granted an early release, but sought to clear his name. At the time he was still locked in a battle in France’s civil courts over damages.

In September 2016, the Versailles Court of Appeals slashed the damages liable to the bank from Kerviel to 1 million euros down from almost 5 billion euros, judging the bank to be partially responsible for failing to halt Kerviel’s bets.

Months earlier, a labour court had ordered Societe Generale to pay Kerviel more than 450,000 euros for wrongfully firing him.

Societe Generale still faces a dispute with the French finance ministry over the tax treatment of the 2008 loss triggered by Kerviel.

($1 = 0.8506 euros)

(Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry; writing by Inti Landauro; editing by Alexandra Hudson and Keith Weir)

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