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Paris constitutional court to decide if Airbus trial can proceed
December 17, 2014 / 2:49 PM / 3 years ago

Paris constitutional court to decide if Airbus trial can proceed

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s highest constitutional body will rule in early 2015 on whether a trial involving accusations of insider trading at Airbus Group (AIR.PA) can go ahead, following complaints by defendants that it would infringe their basic rights.

Airbus's company logo is pictured at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, December 4, 2014. REUTERS/ Regis Duvignau

Judges in October suspended the trial after defence lawyers demanded a constitutional review on the grounds that seven current and former executives, and two former industrial shareholders, had already been cleared by a regulator.

Before the Constitutional Court can consider the matter, France’s Supreme Court had to agree to refer the request. In a decision published on Wednesday, the Supreme Court agreed to do so, noting that the question was a serious one.

    The nine-member Constitutional Court, including former French President Valery Giscard d‘Estaing, must give a decision within three months on whether the trial can proceed.

    The current or former managers and former industrial shareholders are accused of illegally selling shares in what was then known as EADS, in March 2006, in the knowledge that things were about to go wrong at Europe’s largest aerospace firm.

    All deny the charges and argue the trial is unfair because they were cleared by the AMF regulator in 2009, citing a European judgement upholding the right not to be tried twice.

    Defendants include two former industrial shareholders, French media group Lagardere (LAGA.PA) and German car firm Daimler (DAIGn.DE), which reduced their stakes in April 2006.

    Reporting by Chine Labbe and Tim Hepher; Editing by David Holmes

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