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Don't fault ex-Barclays traders for high pay, says judge

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As a London jury prepares to deliberate charges against three former Barclays Plc traders accused of rigging a key interest rate, they shouldn't hold the bankers' high salaries against them, a judge said on Monday.

London

AS A London jury prepares to deliberate charges against three former Barclays Plc traders accused of rigging a key interest rate, they shouldn't hold the bankers' high salaries against them, a judge said on Monday.

"You must not be prejudiced against people who earn a great deal of money," Judge Michael Gledhill told the jury. "You must not hold it against them that employers are willing to pay them for their expertise in this very specialised field a great deal of money, because they make a great deal of money for their bank."

The judge made the comment as part of his directions to the jury as to how to decide the case against Carlo Palombo, Colin Bermingham and Sisse Bohart. The three former Barclays employees are being tried for their alleged roles in rigging the Euro interbank offered rate from January 2005 to December 2009. They deny the charges.

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Judge Gledhill told the jury that the verdict will depend on whether the defendants were knowing parties to a conspiracy that has already been proven to exist through the convictions last year of ex-Barclays trader Philippe Moryoussef and Deutsche Bank AG's Christian Bittar. The jurors should look at the defendants' intent and whether they deliberately disregarded the proper basis for Euribor submissions, Judge Gledhill said.

Remuneration may play a role in one part of deliberations. If a defendant could get a financial benefit from helping the bank earn more, then money could be relevant to the jurors, he said. BLOOMBERG