PARIS (AP) -- As French authorities filed preliminary charges against a second former EADS executive on Wednesday, and the head of the aerospace and defense giant warned that investigations into insider trading could last as long as seven years.
Judicial officials said charges were filed late Tuesday against Jean-Paul Gut, a former deputy chief executive who oversaw strategy for Airbus' parent. Bail was set at 400,000 euros ($619,000), the officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.
Former co-CEO Noel Forgeard has already been charged preliminarily for insider trading. He is free on 1 million euros ($1.5 million) bail. Both deny wrongdoing.
France has two related probes, one by the Paris prosecutor, the other by the AMF, the Financial Markets Authority. The judges' probe into alleged insider trading at EADS was opened in late 2006.
Investigators are looking at share sales -- including some by company executives -- at the aerospace and defense giant before a June 2006 announcement of delays for the A380 superjumbo. The plane is made by EADS subsidiary Airbus.
EADS tumbled 26 percent in one day when those problems were revealed.
EADS CEO Louis Gallois said the investigations "will last 5-7 years: we shouldn't be under any illusions."
"It's a saga that we will have in front of us, and what I want is that we maintain a certain serenity," he said during a meeting with journalists in Paris.
He declined to comment on Gut because he no longer works for the company, and repeated that he has "total confidence" in the current management.
Gut left the company last year. He has also been questioned by investigators at the AMF, which is focussing on the sale of shares by 17 current and former EADS executives and shareholders DaimlerChrysler AG and Lagardere SCA.
According to the AMF report, which was published on French news web site Mediapart, Gut made 1.77 million euros on the sale of 175,000 shares.
Anne Meaux, a spokeswoman for Gut, said the charges are "the logical continuation of the procedure." In a statement earlier Tuesday, his lawyers denied insider trading allegations against him.
EADS is trying to turn the company around after a rocky couple of years plagued by trouble with the A380 and management turmoil.
Gallois, promoted last year from his position as head of Airbus, is presiding over a restructuring program that inclues 10,000 job cuts over four years.
He said the deal that allowed him to take over last year as the sole CEO of EADS has improved visibility, preventing the sort of errors blamed for the A380 setbacks.
The planemaker is also struggling to cope with the ever-more-expensive euro, which eats into profits. Unlike Boeing Co., many of Airbus' costs are in euros, while it sells its planes in dollars.
EADS shares fell 3.4 percent to 13.55 euros ($21.01).