argues for dismissal
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Friday, June 23, 2006
Joe Nacchio's attorneys reiterated Thursday that
insider-trading charges against the former Qwest chief
executive should be dismissed and cited grand-jury testimony
by former Qwest President Afshin Mohebbi to support their
position. In a wave of court filings, Nacchio's attorneys
also rebutted government assertions that they have
exaggerated the complexity of the criminal case to delay a
trial until next year.
Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in
Colorado, declined comment about the latest responses filed
in Denver federal court.
Nacchio faces 42 counts of insider trading in connection
with selling $100 million of Qwest stock in the first five
months of 2001. Prosecutors argue Nacchio accelerated his
stock sales after gaining insider information that the
Denver telco's business was faltering.
Prosecutors have requested a fall trial, but a date hasn't
Nacchio's attorneys argue the grand jury that returned the
indictment last December was unfairly swayed by prosecutors
and wrongly instructed about insider trading.
They cite a grand juror who wanted to know Mohebbi's opinion
about Nacchio's state of mind at the time. Mohebbi
testified he had told Nacchio he was uncomfortable with
Qwest's financial guidance.
"I can tell you what he told me, which is, 'I heard you, I
don't agree with it,' " Mohebbi testified. "He said a
number of other things: 'You know, you don't know things;
you don't know everything that I know; we're not changing
the numbers.' "
Nacchio's attorneys claim the testimony shows Nacchio didn't
dump Qwest stock based on the belief the business was
Rather, they argue, the testimony shows Nacchio possessed
classified information unknown to Mohebbi. Nacchio
maintains he possessed such information through his work
with a national security panel that made him optimistic
about Qwest's ability to land lucrative business with the