I once wrote a leading e-mail to MoveOn asking them how they could justify being supported by the fascist, George Soros. They sent me a thank-you-for-your-concern generic response. The legal and moral implications of a bad law aside, I feel no sorrow for the man. Isn’t this just what he wanted?
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled against Mr Soros in the latest blow to the investor in his nine-year battle to have the conviction overturned.
Mr Soros was found guilty of trading on insider information in the French bank but argued that trading regulations were ambiguous.
In a statement released following the unsuccessful appeal, the Court said that while the law was not precisely worded, investors had a duty to be prudent.
The court said Mr Soros was a “famous institutional investor, well-known to the business community” and “could not have been unaware that his decision to invest in shares in [Societe Generale] entailed the risk that he might be committing the offence of insider trading.”
Mr Soros, now 81, was fined the €2.2m (£1.9m) he had made from trading in the French bank’s shares. However, while prosecutors filed criminal charges, France’s stock market regulator opted not to pursue a case against the investor, arguing that insider trading laws were too vague.
Ron Soffer, a lawyer representing Mr Soros, said his client would appeal the judgment. “It is inconceivable to expect that the citizen has a better understanding of the law than the authority in charge,” Mr Soffer said.
“The opinion of the regulatory authority is an irrebuttable presumption as to the lack of clarity of the law.”
Mr Soros is best known for making $1bn betting against the pound in 1992. He turned to the human rights court in 2006 after losing out in his appeal to the Cour de Cassation, France’s top court.
Mr Soros has three months to lodge his appeal to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, which will then decide whether to hear the appeal.