February 23, 2018 / 2:58 PM / 23 days ago

Germany rejects extradition of bankers to Britain in Euribor case

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German authorities have turned down a bid to extradite four citizens to Britain to face charges of conspiracy to rig Euribor benchmark interest rates while at Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE).

Justice officials in Frankfurt said in an emailed statement to Reuters on Friday that they had decided against extradition because of a statute of limitations in prosecuting the case.

The formal denial of extradition was on Wednesday, the statement said, after a preliminary ruling in November.

British prosecutors had been granted warrants in 2016 for the arrest of four Germans, who they said were part of a conspiracy to defraud in relation to their alleged role in manipulating Euribor, the euro interbank offered rate.

A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment. Reuters is not naming the four former Deutsche Bank employees for legal reasons.

Deutsche Bank, Barclays (BARC.L) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) admitted their involvement in a Euribor cartel in 2013 in a European Commission investigation.

    The Commission fined Deutsche and SocGen a total of $1 billion, and two years later U.S. and British authorities fined the German bank another $2.5 billion and its London subsidiary pleaded guilty to rate-rigging.

    Barclays received immunity for revealing the alleged cartel in the Brussels investigation but paid $453 million to U.S. and British authorities to settle rate-rigging allegations in 2012.

    Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Edmund Blair

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