Alex Pabon, one of four traders convicted of manipulating Libor in July 2016, just cleared a major hurdle in his path to acquittal.
A hearing was meant to take place today, Nov. 21. Instead, London’s Court of Appeal ruled that investigators (the Serious Fraud Office) would have to disclose all materials used by an expert witness in his trial, Pabon tells Quartz. Now he and his legal team have received the disclosed materials and “are in the process of going through it.”
He confirmed to Quartz that his appeal will go ahead on Nov. 24. Pabon has already served eight months in jail.
“I understand that, despite the SFO’s refusal, the Court of Appeal has agreed to disclose additional documents relevant to my defense concerning Saul Rowe, the ‘expert’ witness relied upon by the SFO at my trial,” said Pabon. “We expect this disclosure to contain additional evidence of the significant flaws with Rowe’s testimony in the Libor trials and possibly additional disclosure failures by Rowe. We are evaluating the documents as we receive them.”
The appeal of Pabon, a former Barclays trader, hinges on what helped get two other convicted traders acquitted—doubts about the reliability of evidence given by the prosecution’s expert witness, Saul Haydon Rowe. Rowe, who worked at a company called Turing Experts, was hired by the SFO to give testimony in trials involving former traders charged with crimes related to Libor-fixing, including Pabon’s.
Today, the judge ruled that the SFO would have to disclose all of the materials used in Pabon’s trial by Rowe—his analysis, conclusions, and subsequent reports on how he believed Libor was manipulated. The SFO previously refused to disclose these materials to Pabon’s defense team. Now that the judge has ruled that the materials are relevant to Pabon’s appeal, proceedings will start on Friday. If the appeal is successful, Pabon could be acquitted within a year (pdf).
The SFO told Quartz previously that it cannot comment “on the disclosure of materials or the hearing, as it is an ongoing legal matter. We also cannot comment on a complaint lodged about the conduct of our expert witness, Saul Haydon Rowe. The police are seized of the matter.” (Former traders charged with offenses have filed complaints with the police about Rowe.)
Pabon previously told Quartz that if he loses the appeal at the Court of Appeal, he will head to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. The CCRC is seen as the last resort when the rest of the appeals process has been exhausted. This is a route that ex-traders Jay Merchant and Jonathan Mathew are also pursing, after their appeals against convictions were unsuccessful.