Telefónica CEO on Trial

10:55 AM -- Let's just say it hasn't been the most pleasant return to work after the Easter holiday weekend for Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) CEO César Alierta. Yesterday he was in the Madrid Supreme Court facing the possibility of going on trial for alleged insider trading back in 1997 when he was head of the former state-owned tobacco company, Tabacalera, according to this Reuters report.

Today, the Madrid court decided that Alierta, along with his nephew, Luis Placer, will indeed go on trial for the alleged insider trading that occurred 12 years ago. The trial will start on Thursday. State prosecutors are asking for a four-and-a-half-year prison term for Alierta and a four-year sentence for Placer.

While the case has nothing to do with Telefónica, the operator's top exec is likely to be a bit distracted for the next few weeks. (See Telefónica Slashes Capex by 10%.) — Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading

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