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Italy Court Upholds Verdict, Cuts Terms in 1982 Bank Scandal

June 11, 1996|Times Wire Services

MILAN, Italy — An appeals court Monday upheld the conviction of prominent industrialist Carlo De Benedetti in the 1982 collapse of Italy's Banco Ambrosiano but reduced his sentence to 4 1/2 years.

De Benedetti, the chief executive of Olivetti, a computer-maker and information services company, had been sentenced to six years, four months in his first trial in 1992.

Licio Gelli, former head of the now-outlawed secret P-2 Masonic lodge and an alleged accessory in the scandal, also received a reduced term--12 years. He had received an 18 1/2-year sentence in 1992.

De Benedetti called Monday's verdict "unfair and unjustified." He denied he made any illegal profits during his 65-day tenure as deputy chairman of Banco Ambrosiano, then Italy's largest private bank.

The two men were sentenced along with 13 other defendants in the scandal. They remain free pending further appeals.

Banco Ambrosiano collapsed when it could not collect $1.3 billion in loans made to shell companies in Latin America.

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