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Trial starts in Endemol trading case

Former exec could face up to two years in jail

AMSTERDAM — Former Philips chairman Cor Boonstra went to court Thursday on charges of insider trading and irregular share trading in connection with Spanish media conglom Telefonica’s takeover of content provider Endemol in 2000.

The trial could last several weeks and Boonstra faces up to two years in jail if he is found guilty.

Boonstra bought 1.1 million guilders ($460,000) in Endemol shares in March 2000. At that time he had had a relationship with Sylvia Toth, a Dutch businesswoman who was on Endemol’s supervisory board.

Boonstra used a special account set up in Belgium to buy the shares, then sold them following the takeover of Endemol in late April. He did not inform Toth or Dutch financial market watchdogs about the transactions, on which he made a profit of more than $245,000. Boonstra has denied wrongdoing, saying he “overlooked” the link between Toth and Endemol.

At Philips, Boonstra was responsible for selling off lossmaking media properties and returning them to its core business.

He has since applied for Belgian citizenship.

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