Verdict expected in huge damages granted to French bank

A French court is deciding whether bank Societe Generale shared responsibility with a convicted former trader for huge losses reported in 2008 and should be deprived of billions in damages.

An appeals court in Versailles, outside Paris, rules Friday on whether to uphold, quash or cut the 4.9 billion-euro ($5.5 billion) amount of civil damages that trader Jerome Kerviel was initially ordered to pay to his former employer.

The prosecutor has asked the judges to throw out the damages altogether. If the court follows his arguments, it would be a stinging defeat for the bank after years of legal battle.

In one of the biggest ever trading fraud cases, Kerviel was sentenced to three years in prison for nearly bringing down the bank with dubious financial operations.