Italy CT Antonio Conte will face a preliminary hearing over match-fixing links on February 18.
Today La Repubblica reports that the preliminary hearing will take place on February 18, 2016, with former Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni and Lazio’s Stefano Mauri also having cases heard.
The announcement does not mean that Conte and the others are on trial. With the public prosecutor [Roberto Di Martino] having gathered his evidence, he has decided that there are grounds to proceed to trial.
However, he must make his case to a judge in a preliminary hearing, in this case Pierpaolo Beluzzi in Cremona.
The prosecutor presents his evidence to the judge, with the defendant having the opportunity - but not the obligation - to try and prove his innocence.
If the judge hears the evidence and decides that there is not enough evidence - or is convinced of the defendant’s innocence - he can pass a verdict of no grounds to proceed.
If he decides there is enough evidence to go to trial, an indictment will be issued against the defendant[s].
Conte’s lawyer excluded the option of a plea-bargain, and pointed out that the charges had been reduced.
“We’ve gone from active conduct alleged in the writ, to non-reporting,” Leonardo Cammarata told La Repubblica.
“A plea-bargain? I absolutely exclude that.”