The challenges of the new trial of Jerome Kerviel

The former employee of Societe Generale Jerome Kerviel has appealed.

The fever is gone, curiosity remains. Monday, June 4, almost two years to the day after his first appearance, the press benches were packed when Jerome Kerviel enters the majestic First Chamber of the Court of Appeal of Paris. A president, Mireille Filippini, who asked him what were his employment and income, the former trader said he had lost his job in 2011 and he was not receiving any compensation for this date.

"Why have you called?" Asked the President, Mireille Filippini.

"Because I feel that I am not responsible for this loss and I always acted knowingly with my superiors," said the former trader at Societe Generale. The formula is flawed but essentially there: former trader at Societe Generale strongly disputes the principal offense, breach of trust, for which he was convicted in the Criminal Court.

We finally remembers little of the criminal sanction - three years in prison - which was imposed after his first trial in 2010. What is kept in memory, however, is that the former trader at Societe Generale, convicted of "breach of trust, forgery, use of false and fraudulent introduction of computer data," was ordered to pay $ 4.9 billion in damages to the bank. The exact amount of damage assessed by the latter after the discovery of hidden liabilities - € 50 billion - made by the trader in January 2008.

The decision of the court spent the total victory of the bank. It was a reflection of an instruction - led by financial judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke - and two months of public debate and contradictory that saw gradually break the scenario announced David Kerviel against Goliath-General Company background of financial crisis.

Kerviel had failed to convince the judges that he was the "victim", "creature" of a system that had not braked. Instead, the judgment stated, the former trader, "comfortable in the IT and financial maquis", "using a perfectly mastered jargon" managed "to lull the suspicions of the services concerned" and "guard under the cover of deceptive appearances, fruit of his inventiveness, any hint of control. " Therefore, the court concluded, Jerome Kerviel "was the sole designer, founder and director of the fraud scheme. It follows that the General Company is entitled to obtain full compensation for the financial loss resulting. "


Legally, the decision was unstoppable. The court applied settled case law of the Court of Cassation for damages distinguishes intentional torts unintentional offenses. In case of intentional torts, such as a theft, it may not be a shared responsibility between the perpetrator and the victim of this crime. Specifically, it is not because a bag is carelessly on a chair that the responsibility of the one who steals is lessened. Similarly, the negligence of the owner of the bag does not challenge the amount of loot stolen from his wallet. The obligation to repair the damage to the victim is complete without the court has discretion.

But for the public, the announcement of a civil judgment as disproportionate to the scale of a human life - 180 000 years of repayment by paying the full salary of 2300 euros that Kerviel perceived today as IT consultant - is incomprehensible. She instantly ruined pedagogy trial and turned to the General Corporation victory poisoned.

Taken aback by the extent of the reaction of public opinion - and some politicians - the bank had indicated that there was no question of her claim to "one man" these 4.9 billion euros and was "completely open to finding a solution after the call." More cautious, lawyers Societe Generale had indicated to them that the bank reserved the right to enter all income - copyright or film adaptation - Jerome Kerviel could derive from the operation of a business that is attracting international interest.

This issue of the amount of damages is for the bank, in the heart of the appeal. As summarized by one of the attorneys of record, "Societe Generale needs to be recognized as a victim but not necessarily criminal civil" if it is to hope to turn the page of a case which has greatly dented his image.

So she was looking forward to see what line of defense would choose Kerviel before the appellate court. This was clearly expressed to the press in April: "There is no question that I assume acts of the bank system and I pay for them." The former trader told his interests to a new lawyer, David Koubbi, his predecessor, Mr. Olivier Metzner, who threw in the towel on a "strategic" disagreement with his client.


Even before the opening of the trial, Mr. Koubbi filed two complaints for "false" and "fraud in the judgment" against Societe Generale. The first record is paid to the investigation file whose contents have been "cut off" by the bank and the second relates to the amount of damages, the lawyer accusing the General Society of failing to clarify that it had recovered through a tax mechanism, 1.7 billion of the 4.9 billion loss posted.

The proceedings before the Court of Appeal ahead so tense. On the bottom, as in the first instance, the new lawyer Jerome Kerviel argued the release of the principal offense with his client, the breach of trust. It is not made if the employer had the means to control the employee and he accuses the wrongful acts are repeated over time. But while Mr. Metzner had stuck before the court, the claim that the employer Kerviel "could not ignore" what he was doing, Mr. Koubbi said today that the bank "had full knowledge of the operations, "accused the former trader.

Court, Kerviel had admitted to "push the system at the end of the end." Judges of the Court of Appeal, it is to say whether the "system" would not or could not stop it. In both cases, the view it, the right to blame him.

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