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Business

German Exec Questioned in EADS Insider Trading Affair

Former Airbus financial boss, Andreas Sperl, has reported to police in Paris to answer questions about whether he used insider knowledge to trade on the stock market. He's the fourth EADS exec to be called in.

Airbus A380

Shares were sold off just before Airbus' problems went public

Sperl arrived in the French capital on the morning of Wednesday, July 9, and was taken into investigative custody by Parisian police.

The former Airbus executive and current CEO of an EADS subsidiary in Dresden is being questioned about allegations that he sold off huge amounts of company stock just before delivery delays for the flagship A380 passenger superliner became known.

Share prices fell by around a quarter when news of those delays broke.

Sperl can be kept in custody for 48 hours without being officially charged.

17 EADS officials under suspicion

Last week, French police questioned the former German head of Airbus, Gustav Humbert. Two other senior EADS executives, Frenchmen Noel Forgeard and Jean-Paul Gut, have also been hauled in to talk to the authorities.

All three were released, after posting bail of between 350,000 and 1,000,000 euros ($550,000-1.57 million).

All told, seventeen EADS officials are suspected of acting improperly.

Sperl has denied any wrongdoing.

"I am convinced that I acted in accord with the applicable laws and internal guidelines," he said via a written statement.

Sperl added that he was confident French authorities would agree.

If formerly charged and found guilty, Sperl and the others could face a two-year prison sentence and hefty fines.

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