Finance

Tom Hayes’ battle to quash his Libor conviction nears its end

Tom Hayes’ years-long fight to overturn his conviction for rigging Libor is nearing its end.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body responsible for investigating suspected miscarriages of justice, is set to meet on 29 June to decide whether to refer Hayes’ case to the Court of Appeal.

The body, which has been reviewing the former trader’s conviction for almost four years, appointed barrister Robert Ward QC to lead the final stages of its review into Hayes’ sentencing. That’s according to a 5 February email from the CCRC to Hayes’ lawyer Karen Todner. A decision-making committee, convened by Ward met on 11 May to assess Hayes’ case.

In an email sent from the CCRC on 11 May to Todner, seen by Financial News, a case review manager from the CCRC stated that there had been “a detailed and productive discussion of the case”.

But, the email adds: “The Committee did not reach a decision today on whether or not Mr Hayes’s case should be referred for appeal. The Commissioners decided that the Committee would need to reconvened in due course, in order to consider particular aspects of the case in more detail. Further analysis will be completed as necessary to assist the Commissioners on the remaining points.”

In an email sent on 18 May to Todner the CCRC said: “I now have a confirmed date for the next Committee meeting in Mr Hayes’s case – Tuesday 29 June.”

Todner said: “There’s a lot to consider as detailed grounds of appeal were submitted. I’m pleased that progress is finally being made.”

The CCRC declined to comment.

The CCRC could refer Hayes’ case to the Court of Appeal if they decide there is a “real possibility” that his original conviction will be quashed by the Court, a spokesman for the body said in December.

They could also decide the case needs a further review before making a decision or that there are no grounds to refer the case to the Court of Appeal. In the latter scenario, Hayes and his legal team will have an opportunity to review the CCRC’s reasons for such a decision and to issue a response to it.

In 2017, lawyers for Hayes submitted his case to the CCRC in a bid to have his conviction quashed.

His legal team says an autism diagnosis that Hayes received before his trial was not given due consideration in court, and that the prosecution used witnesses who were not experts and held back important items of evidence from the defence. Hayes’ legal team has also said it has new evidence.

An SFO spokesperson told FN in December: “Tom Hayes was found guilty by a jury of manipulating the Libor benchmark, and the Court of Appeal upheld Tom Hayes’ conviction. We will continue to assist the Criminal Cases Review Commission in its enquiries.”

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Lucy McNulty

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