A false accounting case against Juventus will be shifted from the football club’s home city of Turin to Rome at the request of defence lawyers, Italy’s Supreme Court said late on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court’s decision, which came after a closed door hearing, will slow down the proceedings because the file, according to Italian law, will go back to the investigation stage and sent to the Rome prosecutors’ office.
A Turin judge in March started to examine whether former Juventus Chairman Andrea Agnelli, 11 other people and the club itself should face trial over allegations of false accounting at Italy’s most successful team.
Lawyers for the defendants had argued that the case should have been transferred to Milan, where the club is listed on the stock market, or Rome, while local prosecutors wanted to keep it in Turin.
Juventus have denied wrongdoing and said their accounting is in line with industry standards.
Last December, prosecutors in Turin requested that the defendants face trial after investigating the club’s accounting and statements made to financial markets in three recent years.
The Turin criminal investigation triggered separate inquiries by Italy’s football authorities which eventually cost Juventus a 10-point deduction in the past Serie A season, a 718,000 euro ($770,000) fine and a ban, decided by UEFA, from this season’s European competitions. ($1 = 0.9321 euros)