Five men have been found not guilty of all charges by a jury at Southwark Crown Court today following a four month trial into LIBOR rigging. Ruth Harris, criminal partner, Hodge Jones & Allen says:
“It was always anticipated that these prosecutions would be difficult for the SFO and so it has proved. The SFO would have hoped for better given their earlier successful prosecution of Tom Hayes, which saw him sentenced to 14 years in prison (albeit that this was reduced on appeal to 11 years). Enormous resources were made available to the SFO to investigate and prosecute these matters and they will now have some serious questions to ask of themselves.
The Jury were asked to conclude that these defendants knowingly rigged LIBOR and were asked to consider the complicated and chaotic financial landscape at the time and assess the purpose and consequences of the defendants’ behaviour. The SFO may conclude from the verdicts that even with their huge effort and will, there will always be challenges when seeking to prosecute individuals that were acting with a system that can be seen to have failed.”