A former Barclays trader convicted of rigging the Euribor benchmark has launched a European Court of Human Rights claim against the UK.
French national Philippe Moryoussef was tried in his absence by Southwark Crown Court in 2018 and convicted of conspiracy to defraud, receiving an eight-year sentence.
He remains in France.
In a statement today, his lawyer said: “The right to appeal this sentence pronounced in violation of his fundamental rights was denied by the UK courts on 6 February 2019.”
As a result, his lawyer said Moryoussef lodged an application before the European Court of Human Rights against the United Kingdom, alleging the violation of the principle of legality in criminal law and his right to a fair trial.
The Moroccan-born trader was found guilty last year of conspiracy to defraud by dishonestly manipulating the benchmark Euribor rate (euro interbank offered rate) for profit between January 2005 and December 2009.
He was sentenced alongside compatriot Christian Bittar, a former Deutsche Bank trader, who had pleaded guilty before the trial began.
Moryoussef left for France after news of his co-defendant’s guilty plea became public – one of the reasons for his Strasbourg case – and remains there as no warrant for his arrest had been issued, his lawyer said.
In February, a higher British court refused to allow him to appeal.
During the 2018 trial, prosecutors cast Bittar and Moryoussef as the ringleaders of an international interbank scam in which the banks submitting current rates were asked to nudge them up or down to bolster trading books.
Even a change of 0.01 percentage point in the resulting calculation of the daily Euribor reference rate could trigger huge profits in financial instruments pegged to the rate.
Both men said they believed they were doing nothing wrong. Bittar received a sentence of five years and four months.