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Learning English - Words in the News
 
30 May, 2008 - Published 12:15 GMT
 
France investigates former co-head of Airbus owner
 
Noel Forgeard when he was a co-chief executive of Airbus parent company EADS

Judges in France have issued preliminary charges against Noel Forgeard, the former chief executive of Europe's largest aerospace group, EADS, which is also the parent company of Airbus, on allegations of insider trading. This report from Mark Lowen:

Listen to the story

While at the helm of EADS, Noel Forgeard is alleged to have sold shares in the group totalling over $6.5m. A few months later, in June 2006, Airbus, whose parent company is EADS, announced that its much-heralded A380 superjumbo faced serious production delays.

Concerns were soon raised at the French financial watchdog, the AMF, which claimed massive insider trading.

After almost 36 hours of questioning, Mr Forgeard has been issued with preliminary charges. They don't necessarily lead to a trial, but are only handed down if there are firm grounds to believe a suspect's involvement in a crime.

Mark Lowen, BBC

Listen to the words

at the helm of
officially controlling/directing; in charge of

alleged
if you allege that someone has done something wrong, you say it is true but you can't yet prove it with facts

much-heralded
praised and welcomed publicly on many occasions; much-hyped (i.e. constantly advertised and discussed in the media in order to attract everyone's interest)

superjumbo
a very large plane capable of carrying many more passengers and flying longer distances without refuelling than ordinary planes

watchdog
an organisation responsible for making sure that companies maintain certain standards and do not act illegally

massive insider trading
the illegal buying and selling of company shares on a very large scale by people who have special information (because they are involved with the company)

preliminary charges
accusations that are not yet final

necessarily lead to
definitely result in

handed down
announced (used when talking about official decisions, often about how someone should be punished)

firm grounds
strong reasons



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