Convicted Libor rigger Tom Hayes has made a new submission for his case to be reviewed by a UK body that investigates miscarriages of justice after US courts quashed similar convictions.
The former UBS and Citi trader filed a new submission to the UK’s Criminal Cases Review Commission — which probes criminal matters where people believe they were wrongly convicted — on 21 November.
Hayes has maintained his innocence, even after he was convicted in the UK in 2015 for conspiring to fix the Libor rate.
Hayes and several other traders have been tried over allegations they manipulated the key benchmark that helps determine interest rates on mortgages and corporate loans.
READ Convicted Libor rigger Tom Hayes fights to clear his name again
He was initially sentenced to 14 years, reduced to 11 years on appeal. He was released from prison in January 2021, having spent five and a half years in high-security institutions.
His case is the only interbank rate manipulation that resulted in a criminal prosecution; others in the US, and Germany, have now been quashed. A case in France required the extradition of a trader, but the Paris Court of Appeal ruled the matter “was not punishable under French law”.
The CCRC is reviewing Hayes’ case and invited him to make fresh submissions after a US ruling in which prosecutors were asked to dismiss their case against Hayes on 27 October after an appeals court overturned the convictions of two former Deutsche Bank traders — Matthew Connolly and Gavin Black — for similar offences.
Hayes’ 21 November CCRC filing drew attention to the US ruling, in which the Department of Justice applied for an order dismissing the indictment on the basis that the decision to overturn Connolly’s conviction “implicates the theory charged in this case and the government’s ability to prove its case”.
Hayes made various technical points in the filing, which argue US prosecutors failed to prove traders’ Libor submissions were false.
According to Hayes’ submission, the most significant point related to a lack of any ban on traders having a commercial influence on Libor. This view was taken by the US court, and is at odds with the English courts’ rulings in the case of Hayes.
“There was, after all, no prohibition on commercial influence recorded in any of the rules or guidance which governed the Libor setting process at the relevant time,” his submission reads.
“That fact, recognised and reflected in Connolly, stands in stark contrast to the absolute proscriptions recognised by the English courts years after the event,” the submission adds. “The approach taken by the English courts is thus… out of step with every other jurisdiction to have considered this issue.”
Hayes’ battle to overturn his UK conviction has lasted more than five years. In 2021, the CCRC decided not to refer his case to the Court of Appeal.
READ Convicted Libor rigger Tom Hayes has US indictment quashed as UK appeal continues
In Hayes’ submission, the CCRC was told that the US decision, while not binding, would “have to be given careful consideration by the Court of Appeal in any appeal”.
Hayes said any inconsistency would give rise to “double-criminality” if two jurisdictions such as the US and UK treated the matter differently, even though both courts dealt with the same facts.
“Put simply… it is undesirable in principle that a trader could, sitting at a trading desk in New York, lawfully take steps to influence the bank’s Libor submission based upon the bank’s internal position whereas, by engaging in precisely the same conduct at a trading desk in London, would commit a serious criminal offence,” his submission said.
READ Tom Hayes vows to ‘fight’ after convicted Libor rigger denied right to appeal
“My best outcome would be for my family and myself to have health and happiness, and as part of that healing process, some redress and exoneration really,” Hayes told FN.
Hayes said his motivation was primarily to clear his name.
“Any monetary aspect of having my conviction overturned… that’s not the main motivation. That’s not why I’m fighting. I could have plead guilty and done what they wanted me to do, and I would’ve been much richer. I’d have barely been away from my family.
“But I would’ve had to lie about my co-defendants. And I wasn’t going to do that. I wasn’t going to be that person.”
To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Penny Sukhraj
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