Daily Mail - - City & Finance -

JEROME Kerviel, the no­to­ri­ous ‘rogue trader’ who racked up huge losses at So­ci­ete Gen­erale, was de­scribed as a ‘pawn’ by his lawyers yes­ter­day at the start of the long-awaited trial in Paris.

The 33-year-old for­mer trader, pic­tured above, de­scribed his job at SocGen as ‘ex­treme’ and phys­i­cally tir­ing as he spoke in a barely au­di­ble voice to the judge. He told the court­room he worked from 7am un­til 10pm with only a brief break to eat a sandwich at his desk.

SocGen has said he was bet­ting more than the bank it­self was worth. It liq­ui­dated his trades in 2008, lead­ing to a £4bn loss at the bank.

Kerviel is ac­cused of breach of trust, com­puter abuse and forgery and faces up to five years in jail and a mas­sive fine. But in France he is seen as a scape­goat by many, who ar­gue that his high-risk be­hav­iour was en­dorsed by those far higher up the tree.

His lawyer, Olivier Met­zner, said: ‘We hope that there will be trans­parency, that the truth will not be ob­structed by So­ci­ete Gen­erale, like it has been for two years. Kerviel had been used as a pawn for profit and then thrown away.’

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