Saturday August 4 2012
Bonucci and Pepe case rests

Simone Pepe and Leonardo Bonucci’s lawyers explained why they are going to a full betting trial, but Simone Bentivoglio takes a 13-month plea bargain.

The betting trial continued today with Juventus players Pepe and Bonucci accompanied in the court by director general Beppe Marotta.

There were reported negotiations for hours on a possible plea bargain, but instead Bonucci and Pepe opted to fight the charges and go to a full trial. The sentence is expected on August 8-10.

It can be a risky tactic, considering Bonucci faces a three-and-a-half year ban, while Pepe could be suspended for a year.

“The plea bargain becomes difficult when facing such a long ban. You can negotiate when it’s about three months, but not more than that,” said lawyer Chiappero.

Most of those involved in the scandal are charged with failing to report a potential fix to authorities. This means even those who were approached and refused a proposed fix, or might’ve been aware something strange was happening, can be banned for a year or more.

For example, Juve Coach Antonio Conte risks a 15-month ban for this charge while he was at Siena.

“It’s about time we reconsider the existence of this charge. It was useful when there weren’t full trials, but now it can become even dangerous.”

Bonucci and Pepe left the Rome court this afternoon and travelled to Salerno, where Juventus are set to play Malaga in a friendly this evening.

Meanwhile, Chievo midfielder Bentivoglio has accepted a plea bargain for one count of sporting fraud (Palermo-Bari, May 2011) and two of failing to report to authorities (Bari-Sampdoria, April 2011 and Bari-Lecce, May 2011).

Bentivoglio has negotiated a 13-month ban plus a €50,000 fine. The prosecutor had requested a ban of three years and six months.

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