Jury Selection Begins in Nacchio Trial

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Denver (AP) The insider trading trial against former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio is under way at the Federal Courthouse in Denver with jury selection.

Two potential jurors have been dismissed in the case.

Both prospective jurors were men, and both were let go after private meetings with U.S. District Court Judge Edward Nottingham. The judge dismissed one over discrepancies between his answers on a questionnaire and his current views, and the other was dismissed over his media viewing and listening habits

The trial is estimated to last up to two months. It promises to blend complicated financial information about billions of dollars in company losses.

The 57-year-old Nacchio is accused of selling about $101 million worth of Qwest stock in early 2001 based on internal, non-public information that the phone company was in financial trouble. Soon after that, Qwest got bogged down in an accounting scandal and restated its financial results to erase $2.2 billion in revenue.

Nacchio resigned in 2002. He's charged with 42 counts of insider trading. Each count carries a penalty of up to ten years in prison and a one million-dollar fine.

Nacchio's defense is built around claims that he knew about secret telecommunications contracts that government agencies planned to sign with Qwest, giving him hope for the company's future.

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