Michel said his client had been cleared on a second count requested by prosecutors, that of misleading financial markets.

 

The announcement of worsening delays in building the world's largest airliner wiped a quarter off the value of EADS shares in June 2006 and triggered Forgeard's resignation.

 

Forgeard and other current and former executives have denied knowing about the A380 delays when exercising their right to trade stock in March 2006.

 

EADS also has denied wrongdoing.

 

France's financial market regulator, the AMF, said in April it had found evidence of possible insider trading by EADS executives who also include Thomas Enders, a former co-chief executive and current chief executive of Airbus.