Authorities in the US and Switzerland have announced that more banking institutions and individuals will stand trial over their alleged involvement in the 2003 collapse of Italian dairy gaint Parmalat .
In the US, Bergen County Superior Court Judge Jonathan Harris issued a ruling that Citigroup would have to stand trial over allegations that it contributed to Parmalat’s collapse.
Parmalat has sued Citigroup for US$10bn, accusing the US’s biggest bank of helping former management hide debt and inflate results. Citigroup has made a number of counter complaints that, Harris said, would have to be considered in the trail.
Meanwhile, in Switzerland, two people have been charged with fraud and money laundering.
The pair, who remained unnamed in accordance with Swiss privacy laws, will stand trail at the Swiss federal criminal tribunal in Bellinzona, prosecutors said in a statement.
These latest charges are part of a wider money-laundering investigation by Swiss authorities against 18 people linked to the collapse of Parmalat’s dairy empire.
Some CHF20m (US$20m) has been seized from Swiss and foreign bank accounts in connection with the investigation, prosecutors said.
In the meantime, in Italy, Parmalat founder Calisto Tanzi and 23 others went on trial this week charged with fraudulent bankruptcy and criminal association.
Parmalat told just-food today that it is happy with the progress being made on the legal front but added that the group was concentrating its energies on driving its continued growth and recovery.
“We are pleased that the legal process is continuing but remain focused on growing our recovered business,” a spokesperson for the group said.
In February, Parmalat posted an 8.6% rise in underlying EBITDA to EUR367.1m for 2007. Revenue jumped 9.1% to EUR3.9bn on the back of rising prices in the dairy sector.