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ITALY

It's one blow after another for Carlo de Benedetti, chairman of computer maker Olivetti. Following a bitter fight with TV magnate Silvio Berlusconi, de Benedetti is expected to lose control of Milan-based media giant Mondadori.

Now he faces another battle: He will have to stand trial on charges relating to the 1982 collapse of Italy's then-largest private bank, Banco Ambrosiano. On Mar. 12, a Milan appeals court indicted de Benedetti for fraudulent bankruptcy at Ambrosiano, where he was briefly vice-chairman.

Maverick de Benedetti has long been a thorn in the side of Italy's dominant Christian Democratic and Socialist parties. Aides say the Olivetti chairman's current travails are politically motivated, noting that courts last year ruled in his favor in both the Mondadori and Ambrosiano cases.EDITED BY JOHN PEARSON


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