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Societe Generale on trial in France-Israeli scam

The French bank Societe Generale faces a new legal challenge with the start of a money laundering trial in Paris.

Four banks, including Societe Generale, and 138 people, including the bank's chairman Daniel Bouton, are on trial over the multi-million dollar scam. The other banks include Societe Marseillaise de Credit, Barclays France and the National Bank of Pakistan.

The alleged money laundering took place between 1996 and 2001 in the Sentier area of the city and involved stolen or fraudulent checks shuttled between France and Israel.

All four banks are charged with contributing to money laundering and profiting from the deals. All deny the charges. Societe Generale said Sunday that it had not taken part in any money laundering.

Societe Generale revealed last month it had lost nearly €5 billion (about $7 billion) in the biggest rogue trading scandal in history. The losses were caused by Jerome Kerviel, a 31-year old employee at the bank. Kerviel is under investigation and faces possible charges. (Xinhua)