held in secret
By Andy Vuong, Staff Writer
Thursday, October 12, 2006
A federal judge held another closed
hearing today in former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio's criminal
insider trading case to discuss the handling and relevance of
classified information that may be presented during trial.
U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham also closed a portion of a
hearing in August to discuss similar matters. Nottingham overruled
an objection by The Denver Post concerning the closure of that
Nacchio faces 42 counts of illegal insider trading connected to his
sale of $100.8 million in Qwest stock in early 2001. Each charge
has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Prosecutors allege he knew that the company's finances were
faltering. He left the company in mid-2002.
The trial is set for March 19 and could last up to eight weeks.
Nacchio's attorneys have said they want to use classified
information to argue that Nacchio had a rosy outlook for Qwest in
early 2001 because he knew the company was in line to receive large
Before departing Qwest, Nacchio served on two federal advisory
panels dealing with national-security issues: the Network
Reliability and Interoperability Council and the National Security
Telecommunications Advisory Committee. He wasn't nominated to serve
on the latter panel until July 2001 -- which is after the period
when he allegedly made illegal insider trades. During an open
portion of today's hearing, Nottingham granted the prosecution's
motion to file documents under seal. He also discussed jury
instruction, saying that jurors will be told that the government, to
win a conviction, must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Nacchio
acted "willfully with the intent to defraud, manipulate and
Staff writer Andy Vuong can be
reached at 303-954-1209 or firstname.lastname@example.org .