Jury in Nacchio Trial Disbands Until Monday

The trial of Joe Nacchio, former CEO for Qwest Communications International Inc., wrapped for the Easter weekend on Thursday, after a morning of testimony from business mogul Philip Anschutz.

The Denver Post reported that Nacchio told Anschutz in 2001 he wanted to resign because his son had tried to commit suicide. Nacchio didnt quit; instead, he received a raise, bonuses and 5 million Qwest stock options, as well as an agreement allowing him to work four-day weeks in Denver and spend three-day weekends at home in New Jersey.

The Denver Post said Nacchios defense lawyers still were deciding whether to put Nacchio on the stand, indecision that ruffled U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham. He ordered the defense to phone him by 5 p.m. on Saturday and tell him whether Nacchio will testify.

Federal prosecutors rested their arguments on April 4. This marks the third week of the case against Nacchio; the Denver Post said the trial is expected to last up to eight weeks. Proceedings resume again on Monday.

The federal government has charged Nacchio with taking part in insider trading for sales of $100.8 million in Qwest stock between Jan. 2, 2001, and May 29, 2001. Each of the 42 counts he faces carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and fines up to $1 million. The government has been trying since late 2005 to force Nacchio to forfeit the proceeds he made from the stock sales.

Nacchio has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. He oversaw the nations now third-largest local phone company as it lost $100 billion in market value during the telecom downturn.

Qwest Communications International Inc.

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