French Court Rules Messier, Bronfman Must Stand Trial
October 23, 2009 at 3:57 AM (PT)
Seven people, including former VIVENDI SA executives JEAN- MARIE MESSIER and EDGAR BRONFMAN JR. must stand trial in PARIS on charges involving stock share manipulation at the media company, reports BLOOMBERG, which writes "the decision by Judge JEAN-MARIE D’HUY to send former VIVENDI UNIVERSAL CEO MESSIER, current WARNER MUSIC GROUP CEO BRONFMAN and the others to trial overrules a JANUARY recommendation by PARIS prosecutors to drop the case."
"It’s very surprising," said MESSIER's lawyer OLIVIER METZNER. "By chance, at the same time as the NEW YORK class action, the judge says he sees a crime. So I have to ask myself about the timing." MESSIER "is going to plead not guilty," added METZNER.
THIERRY MAREMBERT, lawyer for EDGAR BRONFMAN, said BRONFMAN is innocent of the insider trading charges he faces. "The case against Mr. BRONFMAN is very weak,” he told BLOOMBERG.
VIVENDI, which owns UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, said in a statement they are a part of the French case as a civil plaintiff and have "fully cooperated" in the investigation.
Investors claim they suffered billions in losses after the company misled them about its revenue and earnings by falsely claiming it was generating enough cash and earnings to meet its obligations on $21 billion in debt.