Giraudo's sentence reduced in Calciopoli case
NAPLES, Italy (AP) -The prison sentence for former Juventus executive Antonio Giraudo in the 2006 Italian match-fixing scandal was reduced from 36 to 20 months and suspended on appeal Wednesday.
Also, the Naples court cleared former referees' association president, Tullio Lanese, and former referees Tiziano Piero and Paolo Dondarini.
In December 2009, the four defendants in the Calciopoli case were sentenced on charges of criminal association aimed at committing sports fraud.
In the appeal ruling, Giraudo was aquitted of two charges of sports fraud on grounds of insufficient proof.
"Beyond the two acquittals obtained, we're very disappointed and surprised by today's decision,'' Giraudo's lawyers, Massimo Krogh and Michele Galasso, told the ANSA news agency. "We will wait for the sentence's reasons to be published and we will certainly appeal to the Court of Cassation.''
The Court of Cassation is Italy's top criminal court and the third and final level of justice.
At the heart of Calciopoli were allegations that Giraudo and fellow Juventus executive Luciano Moggi created a network of contacts with Italian football federation officials to influence refereeing assignments and arrange for key players in other teams to be booked ahead of matches with the Turin club.
Moggi's appeal of his five-year, four-month sentence is due to begin in May.
Last year, the Italian football federation extended the five-year bans for Moggi and Giraudo from the sport to life terms. Both men deny wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, Moggi appears set to go on trial again in a defamation suit after being accused of offending a paramilitary police officer's "reputation and honor'' in a 2009 TV show.
The police officer, Attilio Auricchio, was one of the investigators for the Calciopoli case.
Auricchio is seeking ?100,000 ($130,000) in damages, according to ANSA.
In another case, Moggi was given a four-month prison sentence last year for threatening Roma managing director Franco Baldini.
Baldini had been set to give evidence in the Calciopoli case in June 2008 when Moggi approached him and allegedly said, "Watch your step or you'll have problems.''
As a result of the scandal, Juventus was stripped of its 2005 and `06 Serie A titles and relegated to the second division with a nine-point penalty. The team immediately won promotion back to Serie A.
Besides Juventus, three other big clubs - AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina - were penalized, as were Reggina and Arezzo.
Last season, Juventus won Serie A for the first time since the scandal, and with an undefeated record. The club again tops the table this season.