By Estelle Shirbon
LONDON (Reuters) – Kweku Adoboli, a former UBS trader jailed for Britain’s biggest fraud over unauthorized trades that cost the Swiss bank $2.3 billion, averted the immediate threat of deportation at a court hearing in London on Thursday.
Adoboli’s case made global headlines when he was arrested in 2011 and tried in 2012 over the huge losses to UBS, caused by trades far in excess of his authorized risk limits which he had pretended to hedge by booking fictitious off-setting trades.
A Ghanaian national who has lived in Britain since he was 12, Adoboli, now 37, has been appealing against an order made by the British authorities in July 2014 that he should be sent back to Ghana as a foreign criminal.
He asked the Court of Appeal on Thursday to stop the deportation process until the Home Office, Britain’s interior ministry, responded to several claims he has made that it has mishandled his case.
Among other issues, he says officials falsified a copy of his passport, wrongly asserted he was ineligible to work in Britain, and got basic facts about his life wrong in the deportation order.
A Home Office spokesman said: “The case is ongoing and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment.”
The court agreed to Adoboli’s request and adjourned the case.
Adoboli, whose pay when he was at UBS had peaked at an annual 360,000 pounds ($482,650) in 2010, represented himself in court as he cannot afford legal fees.
Since his release from prison in June 2015, Adoboli has campaigned for cultural change in financial services.
He says he is remorseful for the actions that led to his fraud conviction, but should be allowed to stay in Britain because of strong personal ties in the country and the public interest in his advocacy work.
“I paid my dues in full as a model prisoner and since as an advocate for learning and change,” he wrote in a legal document seen by Reuters.
Adoboli has gained widespread support for his efforts to stay in Britain, including from Scottish National Party lawmaker Hannah Bardell, who represents the area in Scotland where he has been living with his two godsons and their parents.
Born in Ghana in 1980, Adoboli moved to Jerusalem with his family in 1984 when his father, a United Nations official, was posted there. The family later moved to Syria, and Adoboli never lived in Ghana again apart from during a short stint when the family had to leave Damascus because of the first Gulf War.
In 1992, aged 12, Adoboli was sent to a Quaker boarding school in Yorkshire, northern England. He has lived in Britain ever since.
(Editing by Stephen Addison)