Laurie Dieffembacq

Former Proximus supremo facing charges of insider trading 

Dominique Leroy, who was at the helm of the Belgian telecommunications giant Proximus until September last year, will have to defend herself in court against charges of financial tampering with company shares. However, she keeps denying the charges. 

Leroy announced she would leave Proximus in September last year, as she had struck a deal with the Dutch counterpart KPN. Later, it turned out that she had sold a package of Proximus shares one month before announcing her decision to quit the job in Belgium. The transaction was worth about 285,000 euros.  

The stock market watchdog FSMA started an investigation, as did the Brussels judicial authorities. A house search was held in Leroy's offices and at her home. The public prosecutor has now ended his investigation after 8 months. Dominique Leroy is not off the hook, on the contrary: she will have to defend herself in court. Insider trading is illegal and is considered as a criminal offence in Belgium. 

However, Leroy denies the allegations. Her lawyer Jean-Pierre Buyle says: "At the moment when she sold the shares, she was actually still negotiating with Proximus to extend her contract. She was not in talks with KPN yet. And the decision to sell her shares had been taken before."

The whole issue left a bitter taste for Leroy: she never made it to KPN in the end, since the Dutch company decided to blow up the deal after the news about the investigation emerged.