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Airbus boss slams 'show trial'

Latest update : 2008-07-13

Airbus head Thomas Enders slammed an inquiry into allegations of insider trading concerning 17 EADS executives and former heads, two days after the head of a German subsidiary became the first serving manager to be formally charged.

Airbus boss Thomas Enders on Sunday blasted as a "show trial" the insider trading probe into managers from its parent firm EADS.
   
"This is a show trial. This is bad theatre... I think that has to be said very clearly," he told a seminar in Farnborough, England, ahead of Monday's opening of the airshow here.
   
Asked whether he was focusing on preparing his defense, he said: "I'm spending not much time of it.
   
"The company has a lot of challenges and that is where I spend my time. We have great lawyers, we have the full support of Louis (Gallois, EADS chief) and the board. I don't worry much about it."
   
On the margins of the seminar, Gallois assured that the EADS managers being investigated would stay in their jobs until the outcome of the probe.
   
"I said clearly they will keep their full authorities, because they have the presumption of innocence. We support them definitely. There's no guilt without judgment," he said. Both men were speaking in English.
   
Stefan Zoller, head of the defence and security branch of EADS, said for his part that the whole investigation was "difficult to understand".
   
The head of a German EADS subsidiary, Andreas Sperl, on Friday became the first serving manager at the aerospace giant to be charged in the probe.
   
Sperl is accused of using inside knowledge about production delays at Airbus, the main subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence Space Company (EADS), to make massive gains on share sales.
   
The announcement in June 2006 of a six-month delivery delay on the new A380, the world's largest airliner, threw EADS and its 100-percent-owned Airbus aircraft unit into crisis and caused the EADS share price to plunge.
   
Former EADS chief executive Noel Forgeard, the company's former general manager, Jean-Paul Gut, and former Airbus chief executive Gustav Humbert have already been charged in the probe although all three deny any wrongdoing.
   
France's financial market regulator AMF has cited 17 EADS executives and former heads suspected of insider trading, including Enders and Zoller.

Date created : 2008-07-13

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