Here’s what happened
Two former Barclays traders were acquitted by a jury in the Libor rigging case on a charge of conspiracy to defraud.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) accused Contogoulas and Reich of plotting with staff from Barclays to rig Libor between June 2005 and September 2007.
Roland Ellis, Contogoulas lawyer said in a statement: “He has consistently maintained his innocence of any crime and is gratified that today’s verdict has vindicated him.”
“The decision by the SFO to seek a retrial of my client after the jury had failed to reach a verdict following a four-month trial in 2016 was regrettable. We made strong representations to them that it was not in the public interest to do so and that the prospects of a conviction were slim,” the lawyer continued.”
“Unfortunately, they chose not to accede to those representations. The speed with which the jury reached their verdicts today would suggest that those representations had considerable merit.”
Reich said that he is “relieved and delighted” that he is acquitted.
He added: “This trial was the first time that any jury has actually been asked to consider whether as a matter of fact any trader deliberately broke the rules or caused false Libors to be submitted. They rapidly rejected the SFO’s case.”
“There can be little doubt that, had the juries been properly directed in earlier trials, acquittals would similarly have resulted.”
Reich’s lawyers said that evidence from senior managers at Barclays gave evidence to the jury.
“The jury were shown documents demonstrating that Barclays’ senior managers, and senior officials within the BBA and the Bank of England, were made aware of commercial influence on Libor in 2005-07 and took no steps to prevent or address this.
“In these circumstances, it is of real concern that the SFO has chosen to pursue Mr Reich and other junior traders for conduct that was widespread, tolerated and encouraged by senior figures in the industry at the time.”
Libor rigging scandal broke out in 2012 after Barclays was the first bank to be prosecuted with a £290m fine. Thereafter, Bob Diamond the chief executive resigned.