Jail looms for bank’s rogue trader Jerome Kerviel when he returns to France

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 May, 2014, 10:34pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 May, 2014, 10:35pm


Rogue trader Jerome Kerviel could finally be behind bars this weekend after being ordered to present himself at a police station as soon as he returns to France.

Kerviel, whose high-risk trading cost bank Societe Generale nearly €5 billion (HK$53 billion), is on a walk from Rome to Paris intended to highlight what he regards as the unfair treatment he has received from the courts.

Kerviel embarked on the walk after briefly meeting Pope Francis on February 19. He was still in Italy a month later when France's top appeal court upheld his 2010 conviction for breach of trust, forgery and entering false data.

The charges relate to unauthorised deals that brought one of the biggest banks in Europe to the brink of bankruptcy.

The ruling left Kerviel, who served 41 days in pre-trial detention in 2008, liable to be imprisoned at any time.

Under an order issued by the prosecutor's office in Paris, Kerviel must present himself by Sunday at the latest at a police station in the Riviera border town of Menton.

If not, police will be ordered to detain him. His lawyer said the former trader would cross the border tomorrow.

Since meeting the pope, Kerviel has secured the support of several church figures who also believe he has been made a scapegoat.

The March court ruling upheld Kerviel's five-year sentence but cancelled an order to repay the money he lost and ordered a review of the damages award.

Kerviel's lawyers argue this means the bank will effectively be put on trial over the failure of its supervisory system. His supporters say it is unfair for him to go to prison while that issue has not been resolved by the courts.