The Evil Diaries: Justice for Tom Hayes!

6 mins. to read
The Evil Diaries: Justice for Tom Hayes!

Readers will recall comments made here a few months ago concerning Tom Hayes, who is in jail pursuant to his Libor-rigging trial. He suffers from Asperger’s (a condition which itself raises questions) but is assisted by his wife, Sarah, who is clearly a brick. In today’s Times he writes an open letter to Harry (Wilson, the City editor of The Times) which is featured in the Business section. The letter is self-explanatory and, one would hope, will hasten Tom’s release from jail:

“Dear Harry,

This time last year, I sat on a Serco bus departing from Southwark crown court contemplating the 14-year prison sentence that lay ahead of me. I was terrified, my mind racing, unable to focus, my hands shaking constantly. I have come a long way since then. But equally, a lot has happened to me in the last 12 months to reaffirm my belief that the British criminal justice system, unseen by most in their day-to-day lives, is completely broken.

During my time in prison, I have run the gamut of emotions: confusion, fear, indignation, anger, sorrow, loneliness and, finally, frustration. However, no matter how bleak I feel some days, trapped in a monotonous routine and reliving every moment of my unfair trial over and over again, even in my dreams, I remain determined to have my wrongful conviction overturned.

In the early months of my time in a high security prison, I clung to the notion that the legal rulings that denied me key evidence in my trial would be overturned on appeal. I believed that the Court of Appeal could not, would not, uphold the legal rulings and jury directions that had created a fraud where no economic prejudice need be present or intended, let alone proved beyond reasonable doubt. In short, I still believed in the fairness of the system. That belief was shattered four days before Christmas 2015, when I received the Court of Appeal’s judgment declining my appeal. To compound my shock and grieving process, I was then blocked from appealing my case to the Supreme Court. I am, of course, just one of many people caught up in a system that at times seems more like a stage show, or even a game of chess, than any genuine attempt to establish the truth of the matter at hand; there are so many sad stories in prison.

The trial judge responsible for my case has packed his gown and wig and retired from the English courts to adjudicate in Dubai. I strongly believe that we, Britain and Britons in 2016, need a Court of Appeal willing to properly scrutinise decisions of the lower courts; a tribunal willing to engage meaningfully with defendants and their teams in order to right miscarriages of justice. We need reform.

In my case, the prosecution, working hand-in-glove with the banks, denied me evidence of the corporate IT systems at UBS designed to ensure that UBS’s Libor submissions were always commercially advantageous to the bank. I was also denied evidence of low-balling at Citibank, a bank that was described in my trial as having a “different ethos” so far as Libor was concerned.

The JFSA (Japanese regulator) ruled in December 2011 that Citibank submitted an untruthful report in relation to Libor. Naturally, this untruthful report was not disclosed to my lawyers and did not make its way in front of my jury. Shortly after my conviction, Brian McCappin, [then chief executive of Citibank Japan], was promoted to co-head of institutional sales for the FX business at Citigroup, whilst I languished in a 6 foot by 8 foot jail cell, held in isolation in the basement of HMP Wandsworth for my own protection.

The lead prosecutor at my trial, Mukul Chawla QC, told my jury that my “managers will be next”. One year on from that claim, and despite my behaviour being in accordance with a written instruction in place at one of my former employer banks, not one single person senior to me has been prosecuted; none had even been interviewed at the commencement of my trial. I was separated from my co-defendants, portrayed as the “ring master” and tried alone. I was prevented from using my co-defendants’ evidence to support my case. My co-defendants were all acquitted in a trial subsequent to my own. Various other people I was accused of conspiring with have been cleared. It appears that I have been convicted of conspiring with myself.

The last year has been one of continued disappointment. I worked for a foreign bank, in a foreign country, trading foreign interest rate derivatives with predominantly foreign trading counterparts. My actions did not prompt sanction from the Japanese regulator charged with overseeing my behaviour, let alone a criminal prosecution. I had a trial based on judge-made law created in 2015 but applied retrospectively, a law nobody in the markets knew about, and which makes market practices employed for the last 20 years suddenly illegal. And I was given a 14-year prison sentence, reduced by only 3 years on appeal, for breaking this unknown law, whilst others who brought down a bank requiring a public bail out recently received sentences of 2-3 years and a trader who lost his bank billions got 7 years.

Slowly, I hope, the truth about Libor, a hypothetical, subjective opinion submitted daily to a trade body by its member banks, and quite how someone arrives at that opinion, will become clear to the general public. In the meantime, I continue to protest my innocence, and to prepare my application for a case review by the CCRC, in the hope that people can finally see the truth and the burning injustice I am suffering in order to quell the political appetite for a banker to go to prison. Note: I have never been a banker, the SFO got entirely the wrong guy if that is who they were supposed to be chasing.

As I sit here, in my cell, solving my maths exercises and writing this letter to you, Harry, I try to focus on the many things to feel positive about: the unwavering support of friends and family; my intelligent, determined and beautiful wife, Sarah, who continues to fight for me; my amazing son, Joshua who, thankfully, has coped well in my absence and who has been told the truth about what has happened and where I am; the support of various members of the House of Lords, and particularly that of Lord David James of Blackheath CBE, whose backing means the world to me. But, most of all, I focus on my sincere hope that one day justice will prevail and the truth about all the Libor prosecutions will be there for all the world to see: the prosecution of the submission of accurate Libor rates and behaviour which the SFO itself, in circa 2011, concluded was not a criminal matter.

Best to you.

Tom Hayes
HMP Lowdham Grange”

All this is deeply shocking to me. There is the injustice, the silliness and, let it not be forgotten, the colossal expense both for the Hayes family but also the public. One would hope that the authorities can admit that there has been a major error possibly on verdict but certainly on sentencing and do something about it.

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