Parmalat has been granted the right to seek damages as part of a criminal trial linked to the 2003 accounting scandal that resulted in the Italian dairy group's financial collapse.

In 2003 Parmalat went bankrupt as a result of debts totalling EUR14bn (US$21.68bn).

The company has since become embroiled in Europe's biggest case of corporate fraud after it was discovered that EUR4bn had gone missing from the Parmalat's accounts.

A judge in Parma granted Parmalat the right to seek compensation in the trial against 24 former Parmalat executives, including its founder Calisto Tanzi.

"We are seeking financial recompense after fraudulent activities resulted in our bankruptcy," a spokesperson for the group confirmed.

However, Parmalat declined to comment on the specifics of the case.