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This week’s acquittal of two former Barclays traders following a trial that saw them accused of Libor-rigging has prompted Tom Hayes, the former UBS and Citigroup star trader, to add to allegations of miscarriages of justice around his own conviction on similar charges.
Hayes, who is serving an 11-year sentence following his conviction in 2015, has already said he will take his case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission in a last-ditch attempt to overturn his conviction.
But the acquittal of Ryan Reich and Stylianos Contogoulas on Thursday will now add to his complaint. They were unanimously acquitted by a jury at Southwark Crown Court after their second trial: a jury in a separate trial last year failed to reach a verdict on the two men but convicted three of their former Barclays colleagues.
The defence also attacked the testimony of the Serious Fraud Office’s expert witness, Saul Haydon Rowe, whom the court heard during his cross-examination had been found to be texting bankers asking for definitions of trading terms.
Hayes’s lawyer, Karen Todner, said in a statement on Friday:
Following yesterday’s acquittal of the two Barclays bankers I intend to submit an addendum to the CCRC application in particular with reference to the startling evidence given by the expert witness on behalf of the Serious Fraud Office who was the same expert witness as in Tom Hayes’s case.
It is also noticeable that the directions given to the jury in this case are markedly different to those given to the jury for Tom Hayes.
The existing Hayes file at the CCRC centres on his Asperger syndrome; a plea deal he entered into to avoid extradition to the US but then abandoned, and a daily spreadsheet other UBS traders used to record their exposures that he did not have access to, meaning he used more instant messages and emails than colleagues that were then used in evidence against him.
A lawyer for Jay Merchant — a former Barclays trader jailed for his part in the Libor-rigging scandal, whose sentence was recently reduced on appeal — welcomed the acquittals of Mr Reich and Mr Contogoulas, who were among Mr Merchant’s co-defendants at the first trial. The lawyer, Brian Spiro, said in a statement:
In Jay Merchant’s appeal, the Court of Appeal accepted that there was a material misdirection at his trial in that the trial judge directed the jury that the prosecution did not have to prove he “deliberately disregarded” the Libor question before he could be found guilty. The defence contended that this was the core of the alleged conspiracy. Notwithstanding this central misdirection the conviction was upheld. A different direction was given at the re-trial and the jury unanimously acquitted in three hours. This speaks for itself. The injustice to Jay Merchant is obvious. He, like the acquitted defendants, was not trained as to Libor and neither was he the submitter. A further appeal is under consideration.