Arnaud Lagard�re, chief executive of Lagard�re Groupe SCA, defended himself against accusations of insider trading Thursday, claiming he acted as a “patriot” in his role as a major shareholder of Airbus’ parent EADS.

Testifying before a French Parliament committee, Lagard�re said he was not aware of the costly delays in store for the Airbus superjumbo A380 when he sold shares in parent company EADS.