Key witness who was never heard points to the proof that Société Générale trader Jérôme Kerviel did not act alone


Société Générale employee Jérôme Kerviel met with worldwide notoriety as the so-called 'rogue trader' who lost the bank almost 5 billion euros in reckless trading bets in 2007. He was sentenced to five years in prison – two of them suspended - and a staggering fine of 4.9 billion euros, a sentence upheld after he lost an appeal in October 2012. The bank has consistently claimed that Kerviel acted alone and kept his high-risk bets secret from his superiors. But in this interview with Mediapart, a key witness to Kerviel's appeal case, but who was never called to testify, explains why Kerviel's activities were necessarily known to the bank, which at best turned a blind eye. What's more, he tells Martine Orange, the concrete proof of this is still available in logged and stored data - but not for long.

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Earlier this month, the French finance ministry presented the final arrangements to raise 4.5 billion euros of state funds  to settle the debts left by the collapse of defunct state-owned bank Crédit Lyonnais, which collapsed following a high-risk lending scandal in 1993. The crash of the bank has ended up costing the public purse more than 15 billion euros, without counting the massive damages paid out in the US over the Executive Life affair and the more than 400 million euros paid to French tycoon Bernard Tapie in a controversial compensation award for assets spoliated by the bank.