Ex-Vivendi boss Jean-Marie Messier appears in court

Image caption, Jean-Marie Messier was a well-respected entrepreneur in France

The former chief executive of French media giant Vivendi Universal has appeared in court on fraud charges.

Jean-Marie Messier, who once referred to himself as a "master of the universe", is accused of massive corporate fraud.

Prosecutors claim he misled the stock market, manipulated share prices, and misused company money during his time at the company.

Edgar Bronfman, the current head of Warner Music Group, is also on trial.

He is facing related charges dating from his time as a Vivendi Universal executive and vice chairman.

Mr Messier's charges related to the period between 2000 and 2002 when he led Vivendi on a buying spree, acquiring the music business Seagram, owned by Mr Bronfman.

Mr Messier, who faces up to five years in prison, has denied the charges.

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