In Paris, Judge Jean-Marie d’Huy ruled today that former Vivendi SA executives Jean-Marie Messier and Edgar Bronfman Jr. are among seven people who must stand trial on charges involving share manipulation at the company. Bloomberg reports that the court’s decision overrules a January recommendation by Paris prosecutors to drop the case.
Olivier Metzner, a lawyer for Messier, called the ruling “very surprising,” adding that “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.” As previously discussed here, a rare securities class action trial against Vivendi is now underway in federal court in New York.
Lawyers for both Messier and Bronfman declared their clients innocent. Messier “is going to plead not guilty,” said Metzner. “There was no crime.”