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American drives wrong way up Italian motorway in high-speed police chase

The 34-year-old man drove at high speed against the traffic on the A1 motorway near Florence in an attempt to evade police, who reportedly rammed the car and shot the tyres.

American drives wrong way up Italian motorway in high-speed police chase
Armed Italian Carabinieri police officers at a road checkpoint. File photo: AFP
The high-speed chase began after the driver was stopped by traffic police on the A1, the motorway between Rome and Florence, at noon on Tuesday.
 
He attempted to evade police by reversing, driving the wrong way down the motorway and breaking through a toll booth before being brought to a halt by police, local media reports.
 
Police set up a road block at Calenzaro, north of Florence, where they rammed the suspect's vehicle with a patrol car to bring it to a halt. Armed Carabinieri officers then fired several shots at the car’s tyres.
 
No one was injured in the incident.
 
Police then discovered an axe, knife, scythe and camping gear in the suspect’s car.
 
The man, who reportedly lives in Vicenza and has American citizenship, was arrested and faces several charges including the unjustified possession of dangerous items.

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CRIME

Bankers acquitted in Italy over derivatives scandal

An Italian appeals court on Friday acquitted 13 former top officials from Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS), Deutsche Bank, and Nomura over a long-running derivatives scandal.

Bankers acquitted in Italy over derivatives scandal
“Justice has been served. I’ve always believed in my clients’ innocence,” Giuseppe Iannaccone, lawyer for the Deutsche defendants, told AFP.
 
The Milan court overturned the 2019 convictions for allegedly helping Monte dei Paschi, the oldest bank in the world, hide hundreds of millions of euros in losses between 2008 and 2012, finding no crime had been committed.
 
 
The scandal, concerning false accounting, share manipulation, and obstructing regulators from Consob, Italy’s stock exchange watchdog, rocked BMPS, which has long been deemed a weak link in Italy’s banking system.
 
 
Prosecutors claimed derivatives trades called Santorini and Alexandria were used, in collusion with Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Japan’s Nomura, to hide losses equivalent to two billion euros ($2.2 billion).
 
The bankers, including former BMPS chairman Giuseppe Mussari and ex-chief executive Antonio Vigni, six former employees of Deutsche Bank and two of Nomura, were sentenced to up to seven years jail in the original trial.
 
The Milan court on Friday also ordered the release of about 150 million euros in seized assets from Deutsche Bank and Nomura, according to Italy’s Sole 24 Ore financial daily.
 
 
Deutsche Bank said it welcomed the verdict, while Nomura told AFP it was “pleased”.
 
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 following a 2017 bailout.
 
Earlier Friday it reported a first quarter profit of 9.7 million euros, down 92 percent from the same period in 2021.
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