CORRECTED-EXCLUSIVE-Italy judge sends to trial BT Italy, former execs in fraud case

(Corrects first paragraph of NOV. 10 story to “20 defendants including two” from “21 defendants including three”)

MILAN, Nov 10 (Reuters) - A judge in Milan on Tuesday sent to trial the Italian unit of British Telecom and 20 defendants including two former top BT Italy executives in an accounting scandal case, judicial and legal sources said.

The trial has been set for Jan. 26, 2021 before the Milan court, the sources said. All the defendants were indicted for alleged false accounting committed in 2015 and 2016.

Charges relating to 2013 and 2014 financial statements were annulled due to the statute of limitations which wipes out trials if a verdict is not reached within a set time frame.

In a brief written answer to a request for a comment, British Telecom said: “We are disappointed. We remain confident in our defence.”

In the past, the company has said it was cooperating with Italy judicial authorities and believed it was the “injured party” in any accounting irregularities in Italy. (Reporting by Emilio Parodi, editing by Gavin Jones)