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French high court upholds Soros insider trading conviction

[JURIST] France's Court of Cassation [official website], the highest court in the country, on Wednesday upheld the conviction of American financier George Soros [Soros.org profile] on insider trading charges. Soros said he plans to appeal the ruling to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website]. An appeals court ruled [JURIST report] in 2005 that Soros' 1988 purchase of French bank Societe Generale SA [corporate website] stock with knowledge that the bank might be the object of a takeover bid broke insider trading laws. Soros has maintained his innocence and claimed that the takeover rumors were widely known at the time. The court upheld the conviction but directed the lower court to adjust the 2.2 million Euro fine to reflect the profits Soros made on the deal.

Lawyers for Soros said the ECHR appeal will focus on the 20-year period between the 1989 start of the investigation and the 2004 start of the appeals trial, during which witnesses were asked to testify about events that occurred in 1988. His lawyers also said that France regulatory commission, similar to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, determined that the transaction did not violate French stock trading law or ethical rules. AP has more.

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