UBS rogue trader breaks down in court

2012-10-26 12:57

London - Kweku Adoboli, the UBS trader accused of losing $2.3bn, broke down in tears as he took to the witness stand for the first time in his trial in London on Friday.

Before entering the witness box at Southwark Crown Court, Adoboli was charged with two further counts of false accounting, to which he pleaded not guilty.

He choked up and wiped his eyes with a handkerchief when his lawyer noted that his father, a Ghanaian former United Nations official, had been at the court to support him since his trial began on September 10.

Adoboli, 32, stands accused of faking hedge deals by inventing clients, leaving the giant Swiss bank exposed to huge losses when the market turned against him.

In addition to the new charges, he also denies two charges of fraud and two charges of false accounting relating to a period between October 2008 and September last year.

Wearing a dark suit, white shirt and a red tie, Adoboli stood up slowly and walked calmly to the witness box.

"This is the first opportunity you have had to give evidence on oath," his lawyer Paul Garlick told him.

Adoboli confirmed his name, date of birth and place of birth as the Ghanaian capital Accra.

He said he had three younger sisters and confirmed his father worked for the UN. He described his early life, shuttling between countries due to his father's work.

"He moved to Israel when I was at the age of two. My mother and I moved to join him when I was four," Adoboli told the court.

"The reality of my father's work in the UN was he was often not home.

"I was often told make sure you look after your mother and your sisters. At an early age I learned to take responsibility."

He became emotional and wiped tears from his eyes as his lawyer said his father had been in the courtroom throughout his trial to support him.

After recovering his composure after his father's support in court was mentioned, he recounted how the family moved between Jerusalem and Damascus when he was eight, then went back to Ghana when the Gulf War broke out and then afterwards returned to Israel.