PARIS — French prosecutors Wednesday called for rogue trader Jerome Kerviel to be jailed for five years as his appeal of a 2010 conviction for costing bank Societe Generale billions of euros neared its end.
The defence will make closing arguments Thursday in the appeal, launched by Kerviel after he was sentenced to a three-year jail term and ordered to pay back the 4.9 billion euros ($6.1 billion) his gambles cost his former employer.
Prosecutor Dominique Gaillardot urged the court to make an example of Kerviel, whom he described as "perverse and manipulative".
"Your decision will be an example and a deterrent," Gaillardot said.
Kerviel argued during the appeal that he was not responsible for the loss and had acted with the knowledge of his superiors who he said turned a blind eye as long as he was making a profit.
Kerviel was for many a symbol of the excesses of the global financial system, which he has described as a "big banking orgy", and even became a cult hero in France.
The 35-year-old from a small town in Brittany did not profit personally from his unauthorised 50 billion euros of uncovered bets on futures markets, which cost the bank 4.9 billion euros to unwind and which nearly ruined it.
He has not served any jail time since his October 2010 conviction for breach of trust, forgery and entering false data into computers during the covert stock market deals.
French regulators fined the bank four million euros for failures in its internal risk management systems following the Kerviel scandal.
Kerviel, who told the court he was unemployed and had no source of income, admitted regularly exceeding trading limits and logging false transactions to cover his gambles, but said this was common practice.
Societe Generale management argued it knew nothing of what Kerviel was up to.
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