The accused in the trial due to open December 15 include Giuseppe Mussari, former chairman of the BMPS Foundation, his former chief executive Antonio Vigni, six former employees of Germany's Deutsche Bank and two of Japan's Nomura bank.
The alleged crimes, committed between 2008 and 2012 and key to a scandal
that has rocked BMPS since 2013, concern false accounting, share manipulation
and obstructing regulators from Consob, Italy's stock exchange watchdog.
The investigation focuses on derivatives trades called Santorini and
Alexandria, conducted with Deutsche Bank and Nomura respectively to hide
losses equivalent to two billion euros ($2.2 billion).
The trial comes at a particularly tricky time for the oldest bank in the
world -- BMPS was founded in 1472 -- as it is in the process of offloading 9.2
billion euros in non-performing assets and is urgently seeking new capital of
up five billion euros.