LONDON Nov 5 Accused rogue trader Kweku Adoboli
said on Monday he had lied to his employer UBS about
how his trading losses of $2.3 billion were incurred because he
had wanted to protect his colleagues from the fallout.
The former fund trader told a London court he had "naively"
taken sole responsibility for the losses in an email because he
thought the worst that could happen would be that he would lose
his job, and he did not wish to wreck other people's careers.
Adoboli, 32, was arrested at UBS offices in the early hours
of Sept. 15, 2011, about 13 hours after telling the Swiss bank
in an email that he had been booking fictitious trades to mask
He has pleaded not guilty to four counts of false accounting
and two of fraud by abuse of position.
Describing his state of mind at the time when he sent the
email to the bank, he said: "I don't want anyone to take the
heat for the losses."
During his long-running trial, Adoboli has argued that his
methods were known to others within UBS, that everything he did
was for the benefit of the bank, and that UBS management
tolerated rule-bending as long as it was profitable.
Prosecutor Sasha Wass asked him why, if that was the case,
he had not said so in his "bombshell email", or during lengthy
meetings with UBS managers and lawyers later that day.
"I was trying to protect everybody, not just the desk, not
just the senior guys, but also the back office," Adoboli said.
He said that if he had known he would be accused of
committing a crime, he would have told the truth about the
involvement of others earlier than he did.
"I didn't think this amounted to a crime, so there would be
no need to call lawyers or the police," he said.
"I expected that I would explain the trades to them and then
I could go home."
"A VERY DEVIOUS LIAR"
Instead, Adoboli was arrested and taken to a police station,
and then to prison, where he remained for nine months until he
was granted bail in June.
Wass took Adoboli through the "bombshell email" and a
detailed account of the subsequent meetings, written by a lawyer
representing UBS. He said that many of the details were untrue
and that had lied to protect others.
Wass put it to him that part-way through one of the meetings
he had in fact started to implicate his three colleagues on the
Exchange Traded Funds desk.
He accepted that, arguing that by that time he was under
considerable pressure as he had been quizzed for six hours, and
he had come to realise that he could not fully protect his
But he said that, even then, he had lied to conceal the full
extent of their knowledge.
"I had to give them a get-out," he said. "By saying what I
did say, I was able to give them this level of deniability."
Wass put it to him that he had changed his story as he went
along in order to better protect himself, and that he was still
doing so at his trial.
"You are a very devious liar," she told Adoboli. "You have
carefully weighed up what could be denied, what could be proved
... That is how you have conducted your defence, carefully
The trial continues.