Libor rigging trial: Five brokers acquitted

Credit: PA

Video report by ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills

Five out of six former stockbrokers on trial accused of conspiring to rig the Libor benchmark interest rate have been acquitted.

The judge in the case, which has run for 15 weeks at Southwark Crown Court in London, has instructed the the jury to reach a majority verdict on a sixth broker.

The prosecution had alleged the men acted as 'go-betweens' for convicted trader Tom Hayes, the first person to be jailed over Libor-rigging, to manipulate Libor by passing on messages to set the rate.

The Libor rate helps determine the borrowing costs for trillions of dollars in loans around the world.

The five acquitted brokers are: Colin Goodman and Danny Wilkinson, formerly of ICAP; Terry Farr and James Gilmour, formerly of RP Martin; and Noel Cryan, formerly of Tullett Prebon.

A statement released by solicitors acting for Mr Goodman, who the trial heard had been known by the nickname "Lord Libor", said the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) case had been "a complete shambles".

But the director of the SFO, David Green, defended bringing the case, saying:

The key issue in this trial was whether these defendants were party to a dishonest agreement with Tom Hayes. By their verdicts the jury have said that they could not be sure that this was the case. Nobody could sensibly suggest that these charges should not have been brought and considered by a jury.

David Green, Director of the Serious Fraud Office

The sixth man in the case is former ICAP broker Darrell Read.

He has been found not guilty on one count of conspiracy to defraud, with the jury continuing to consider a verdict on a second count.

The brokerage firms that employed four of the men declined to comment on the verdict.