The Court d’appeal de Paris (appellate court), on 4 November 2020, refused the UK extradition request in respect of former Barclays trader Phillippe Moryoussef, and ordered his discharge on the grounds that the conduct contained in the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) was not a crime in France at the time it occurred.
Mr Moryoussef was charged with conspiracy to manipulate the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR) following an SFO investigation but fled to France before his trial. In 2018, he was convicted in his absence and sentenced to 8 years’ imprisonment.
The court held that his extradition was barred as the conduct alleged took place in France at a time (between 2005 and 2009) when it was not a criminal offence under French law and thus did not satisfy the requirement of double criminality. The offence of benchmark manipulation was only created under UK law in 2012 with the passage of the Financial Services Act 2012.
This is the latest in a series of unsuccessful attempts by the SFO to extradite those alleged to have been involved in manipulating the rate. In 2017, the court refused to extradite former Société Générale trader, Stephane Esper, for the same reasons, and in June 2020, the SFO concluded its five year investigation and withdrew EAWs against four ex-traders.