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Italy's Treasury officials to face new trial over Morgan Stanley derivatives case

ROME, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Italy’s Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for two ex-economy ministers and two former Treasury officials in a case over disputed derivatives transactions between the Treasury and U.S. bank Morgan Stanley.

The court also confirmed a previous ruling that the country’s audit court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case against the U.S. investment bank.

The ruling by the Supreme Court was made on Nov. 17 but only published on Monday. It concerns Morgan Stanley derivative transactions made by the Italian state between 1995 and 2005 and terminated in December 2011 and January 2012.

The Audit Court ordered a new trial for a group of once senior Treasury officials - former public debt chief Maria Cannata and Treasury boss Vincenzo La Via, and former finance ministers Domenico Siniscalco and Vittorio Grilli.

They have denied any wrongdoing.

Cannata’s lawyers, Giuseppe Iannaccone and Riccardo Lugaro, said in a statement they were confident the new trial would prove her innocence. “She has always carried out her work with dedication in extremely difficult years,” they said.

Prosecutors have argued that the termination clauses of some of the derivative contracts were overly advantageous to Morgan Stanley and resulted in Italy paying around 3 billion euros ($3.63 billion) to the bank.

Their original trial opened in 2018, but swiftly came to a halt when the Italian Audit Court ruled that it was not authorised to hear the case.

The Supreme Court confirmed that the audit court did not have jurisdiction over Morgan Stanley, which has denied any wrongdoing. The original case included a demand for 2.7 billion euros in damages from the investment bank. ($1 = 0.8280 euros) (Reporting by Domenico Lusi; Writing by Angelo Amante; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Giles Elgood)

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