This morning before the Gup the request for indictment for 12 suspects plus the club, but the defense focuses on territorial jurisdiction
The kick-off will take place this morning, at 9.30, in room 2 of the Palazzo di Giustizia in Turin, but the match could last well over 90 minutes. Overtime, penalties and maybe even something more are expected. In the meantime, however, the day has arrived for the preliminary hearing of the Prisma investigation, which investigates Juventus’ accounts from 2019 to 2021. The appointment is before the Gup (Judge for the preliminary hearing) who will have to examine the request for indictment presented by the prosecution (prosecutor Mario Bendoni and the deputy Marco Gianoglio: the third magistrate, Ciro Santoriello, will not be in the courtroom because he has officially decided to abstain for reasons of expediency after the controversy sparked by some of his statements against Juve during a conference 4 years ago) for Juventus and 12 other suspects (including former president Andrea Agnelli, former deputy Pavel Nedved, former CEO Maurizio Arrivabene and the former head of the sports area, now at Tottenham, Fabio Paratici). The charges range from false corporate communications to the obstacle of supervision, from insider trading to false invoices. The investigation, born in the summer of 2021, is collected in 18 folders which include interceptions, hearings and documents seized by the Guardia di Finanza at different times in the various offices of the black and white club and in some law firms and notaries.
The first round could end in a stalemate, because Juventus, through its lawyers, will ask the Gup to rule on territorial jurisdiction: according to the defense (who had already presented a request to the Turin prosecutor’s office to move the trial to Milan, a request however rejected) the crime of market manipulation (which is the most serious of those contested and therefore determines territorial jurisdiction) was allegedly committed in Milan, where the Stock Exchange is located, or alternatively in Rome, where the Piazza Affari servers are located . For the same reason, the lawyers had already turned to the Attorney General at the Court of Cassation, but the request had been judged inadmissible due to procedural issues, as the phase of the preliminary investigations had already been closed. The ball now passes to the Gup, who could consider the request clearly unfounded or ask the Court of Cassation ex officio, which in turn will decide in chambers. This is a procedure envisaged by the Cartabia reform, which came into force only a few months ago. The lack of a sufficiently large case history also makes predictions about timing difficult: it could take months to get an answer and this would keep the process at a standstill for a while. In the meantime, however, the prosecution has also moved on this same front and it is conceivable that it will present a brief to corroborate its reasons on Turin’s territorial jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, today about thirty people will join the civil action. These are small Juventus shareholders who suffered the loss of value of their shares after the investigations launched by the Turin Public Prosecutor’s Office for the period under dispute, i.e. from 30 June 2019, the closing date of the Juventus financial statements, until 2022 , and who consider themselves offended persons. At their side will be Codacons, the association for the protection of consumers, which has promoted a compensation action.
The defense of Juventus
The club has so far rejected all the accusations, both related to the issue of capital gains and to that of the so-called salary maneuvers (relating to the extension of some players’ months of salary in the Covid era). For Juve’s lawyers, as regards the “capital gains deriving from cross-transactions”, Consob would not have detected “profiles of false accounting” but only “profiles of non-compliance” due to “different interpretations in the application of certain accounting standards”, while the wage maneuvers are “measures of an exceptional nature to be implemented in an emergency context that has never occurred before, without precise ad hoc regulation”.
In the meantime, another game is being played in Rome, the one linked to the sporting trial: on 19 April, the Coni Guarantee College will have to express itself on the Bianconeri’s appeal against the 15-point penalty for capital gains. The federal prosecutor’s investigations related to the new file, that of the salary maneuver which also includes suspicious partnerships and which could involve other clubs, are expected to be closed shortly (early April).
March 27 – 07:52
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