Ex-Qwest CEO's Conviction Overturned

Exclusion of expert testimony nets Nacchio new trial
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2008 3:35 PM CDT
Joe Nacchio the former head of Qwest Communications arrives to be sentenced at the federal courthouse with his wife Anne, right, and son Michael in Denver, Colo., on Friday, July 27, 2007.    (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
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(Newser) – A federal appeals court overturned Joe Nacchio’s guilty verdict today and ordered a new trial for the ex-Qwest CEO before a different judge, the Denver Post reports. The court ruled that the district judge who presided over Nacchio's trial on insider trading charges erred in excluding testimony from an expert witness who teaches law at Northwestern.

"We conclude that the district judge was wrong to prevent Professor Fischel from providing expert analysis, and that this error was not harmless," says the majority decision. The appeals court also ruled that there was enough evidence in the case for Nacchio to be tried again without violating double jeopardy. He was sentenced in November to 6 years in prison, fined $19 million, and forced to turn over $52 million from the sale of Qwest stock