Page last updated at 15:45 GMT, Wednesday, 28 May 2008 16:45 UK

Share sale quiz for EADS ex-boss

Noel Forgeard arrives for questioning.
Mr Forgeard (centre) met with officials from the financial crime unit.

The former head of Airbus-owner EADS has been detained for questioning as part of an investigation into alleged insider share dealing, reports suggest.

Noel Forgeard had been expected to meet investigators on Wednesday to answer questions about his sale of EADS shares in March 2006 before they slumped.

They fell 26% in June 2006 after serious delays to Airbus' flagship A380 programme were made public.

Investigators will want to know if Mr Forgeard was aware before selling.

The European aerospace and defence consortium said it could not comment on the reports. But a spokesperson referred to a letter that current EADS chief executive Louis Gallois sent to staff last month, in which he spoke of his "confidence in EADS managers in total".

'Vigorous defence'

Last month, France's stock market regulator said it had uncovered evidence of insider trading and market abuse at Airbus parent firm EADS and referred the case to Paris prosecutors.

It did not name any individuals in the findings it made public after the 18-month investigation.

EADS said at the time that it would "exercise vigorously" its right to defend itself.

"EADS will support its managers in their defence, it intends to demonstrate that it has applied standards of excellence when communicating to the market and has acted with full transparency," the consortium said in a statement in April.

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