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Italian court orders retrial of former Banca Carige chairman

Italy's highest court annulled a verdict sentencing former Banca Carige SpA Chairman Giovanni Berneschi to prison for criminal association and money laundering, saying the trial must be redone in Milan, Reuters reported.

In 2014, Italian tax police arrested Berneschi, along with other individuals, on suspicion of forcing the Italian lender's insurance unit to buy assets at an inflated price. A Genoa court then sentenced Berneschi in 2017 to prison for fraud, money laundering and criminal association, which was upheld in 2018 by an appeals court in the same city.

Italian law stipulates that trials be held in the city where the most serious offense was committed, the news agency said, noting that criminal association, which was purportedly carried out in Genoa, was deemed as the most serious offense in the previous verdict.

Italy's top court, however, accepted a claim by lawyers for the defendants that the most serious offense was money laundering, which was allegedly committed in Milan, according to the Oct. 17 report.