French court acquits SocGen of money laundering

PARIS (AP) -- A Paris court has acquitted French bank Societe Generale and its chairman Daniel Bouton in a case of money laundering between France and Israel.

But the National Bank of Pakistan has been convicted in the case and fined euro200,000 ($264,300). The court has also convicted two of the Pakistani bank's executives, handing them suspended 2-year prison sentences and euro20,000 fines.

Prosecutors alleged that several banks failed to properly monitor checks drawn on French accounts that were subsequently cashed in Israel.

Bouton was in court when it delivered its verdict Thursday and then left by a side door.

The case centered on five networks, four made up of shopkeepers and companies and the fifth of various Israeli associations.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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