October 5, 1995 in Nation/World

Trader May Face Singapore Trial

Compiled From Wire Services

Nick Leeson’s hopes of avoiding trial in Singapore faded Wednesday when a court ruled that the trader who broke Barings bank can be extradited.

A three-judge panel of the High Criminal Court in Frankfurt approved extradition on 11 of 12 charges of fraud, forgery and breach of trust.

Leeson’s lawyers said they would appeal to Germany’s highest court, the Federal Constitutional Court.

If the court decides against Leeson, he still could be spared extradition by the German government, which has final say in the matter.

But Frankfurt’s chief prosecutor said that was not likely to happen.

“The objections of his lawyers will have little chance, his chances of not going to Singapore are small,” said prosecutor Hans-Hermann Eckert.

The earliest Leeson could be sent to Singapore is mid-November, and if the case goes to the highest court, it could very well drag into next year, Eckert said.

Leeson, whose losing high-stakes gambles on the Tokyo market took down Britain’s oldest merchant bank, has been fighting extradition since his arrest in Germany in March.

Lawrence Ang, director of Singapore’s fraud squad, said he was pleased with the German court’s decision.

Leeson’s German lawyer, Eberhard Kempf, said his client was disappointed by Wednesday’s ruling “but he has to live with it.

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