UPDATE 2-U.S. Libor trader loses UK appeal over rigging conviction

From Reuters - March 13, 2018

LONDON (Reuters) - A former Barclays (BARC.L) trader lost an appeal against his conviction over Libor benchmark interest rate rigging at Londons Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

Alex Pabon, a 39-year-old American former derivatives trader, was jailed in 2016 alongside three other former Barclays traders for conspiracy to defraud in relation to the manipulation of Libor (London interbank offered rate).

But Pabon, who was released last March after serving just under a year in prison, brought an appeal after new evidence came to light about the expertise of one the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecutors key banking witnesses in the case.

Judges at Londons Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. But in a strongly-worded judgment, they also criticized SFOs decision to instruct Saul Haydon Rowe as a court witness.

The instruction of Rowe turned into an embarrassing debacle for the SFO ... (although) it has had no impact on the outcome of this case, the judgment said. It added that the case was astark reminder that those needing expert witnesses should ensure they were instructing people ofsuitable calibre.

Rowe came in for the harshest criticism. The judges said he hadsignally failed to comply with his basic duties as an expert. But they ruled that his evidence had not impacted sufficiently on Pabons trial to affect the safety of his conviction.

Pabons lawyers had argued that the evidence Rowe gave during Pabons trial was incomplete or inaccurate and could have damaged the traders credibility.

Rowe has previously told Reuters he had always acted in good faith. He did not respond to telephone calls requesting a comment on Tuesday.

Pabons lawyer was not immediately available for comment. But Pabon said on social media site Twitter:There is no such thing as an expert witness in the UK anymore.



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