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Ex-chiefs of Italy's BMPS to face trial for fraud

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Milan (AFP)

Two former executives of Italy's troubled lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS) were ordered on Friday to stand trial on fraud charges.

Former BMPS president Alessandro Profumo and former director general Fabrizio Viola are accused of market rigging and false accounting at BMPS between 2011 and 2014.

The judged also ordered BMPS bank itself to face trial, which is expected to begin on July 17 in Milan.

The ruling overturns a decision earlier this month by Milan's public prosecutor to throw out the charges against the two men.

"I am surprised but I can fully say that I have no qualms about the choices I made when I was at BMPS," Profumo was quoted as saying by a source close to him who spoke to AFP.

Profumo is currently the CEO of Italian defence giant Leonardo, whose share price fell after the judges decision was made known.

The trial is the latest woe to rock the world's oldest bank.

Founded in Siena in 1472, BMPS has been in deep trouble since the eurozone debt crisis and is now majority owned by the Italian state.

Despite benefitting from an EU-approved bailout of 5.4 billion euros of public money the bank continued to register deep losses in 2017.

It is now undergoing heavy restructuring measures.

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