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Report: Ex-Monte dei Paschi chairman, 2 others acquitted in derivatives case

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Report: Ex-Monte dei Paschi chairman, 2 others acquitted in derivatives case

An appeals court in Florence, Italy, acquitted three former Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA executives in a case relating to a 2009 derivatives trade with Japan-based Nomura Holdings Inc., which prosecutors said was used to hide losses, Reuters reported.

Former Chairman Giuseppe Mussari, former CEO Antonio Vigni and former finance head Gianluca Baldassari had each been handed jail sentences of three years and six months in a previous ruling for misleading authorities and obstructing an investigation into the derivatives trade. The appeals court said the executives were acquitted because no crime had been committed, the report noted.

Prosecutors said the executives concealed a key document relating to the derivatives trade, a contract known as a mandate agreement, from the Banca D'Italia SpA. But their lawyers argued that another document, which the central bank did possess, contained all the necessary information as the mandate agreement, Reuters added.

The three are still on trial in Milan in connection with the derivatives trade and other transactions for charges of market rigging, false accounting and obstruction of regulators, the report added.

The ruling could be another blow for the Banca D'Italia, which is already facing criticism from market watchdog Consob in the wake of Italian bank failures over the past few years, the newswire noted.