Ex-Barclays traders attack credibility of expert witness in Libor trial

Maria Nikolova

Lawyers for Jonathan Mathew and Alex Pabon have launched an appeal and the alleged lack of expertise of Saul Haydon Rowe is a key part of that appeal.

Barclays FX

The expertise of a witness used by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to explain complex trading concepts in a Libor manipulation trial against former traders at Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) has come under fire.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the lawyers for convicted Barclays traders Jonathan Mathew and Alex Pabon have launched an appeal and the alleged lack of expertise of Saul Haydon Rowe is a key part of that appeal. The “expert”, who had written a report entitled “Libor and Interest Rate Markets, Products, Concept and Terminology”, allegedly texted friends during breaks in his testimony to help him describe banking terms.

Lawyers for another ex-Barclays trader – Ryan Reich, who was acquitted in April this year, back the appeal launched by Jonathan Mathew and Alex Pabon and also question the credibility of Saul Haydon Rowe. “Mr. Rowe has committed serious criminal offenses, including fraud by failing to disclose information, fraud by false representation and perverting the course of justice,” the lawyers for Reich are reported to have said.

In case the court supports the former Barclays traders in their appeal, this may have serious consequences for all Libor-trials where SFO experts were used.

Earlier this week, Lord James of Blackheath criticized the SFO over LIBOR trials and asked the new government to decide “how we are going to sort out the mess we are in”. Lord James mentioned in particular the SFO’s choice of “experts” provided with regard to LIBOR-related trials. He noted that the expert witness provided by the SFO had broken down in the fourth trial, and had confessed that “he did not know the first thing about LIBOR, had never worked a day in the LIBOR market and had been given coaching by the SFO as to what to say to convince the jury”.

Jonathan Mathew and Alex Pabon were convicted by a jury after an 11-week trial on July 4, 2016.

Following their convictions, Jonathan Mathew and Alex Pabon were sentenced to four years and two years and nine months in prison, respectively.

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