Tuesday April 5 2016
Conte risks six months

The Cremona prosecutor has requested that Italy CT Antonio Conte be handed six months in jail with a conditional suspended sentence.

The Coach is accused of failing to report match-fixing in a game between Albinoleffe and Siena in Serie B in the 2011, something he has always denied.

Today the prosecutor in the case, Roberto di Martino, requested that Conte be handed a six-month jail term, with conditional suspended sentence, as well as a fine of €8,000.

As the incoming Chelsea manager has opted for a fast-track trial, he could have his sentence reduced by one-third, but ANSA reports his lawyers will maintain his complete innocence and press for an acquittal.

In a fast-track trial [giudizio abbreviato], the defendant waives their right to present evidence at trial, instead leaving the judge of the preliminary hearing to pass judgement. This speeds up the often-lengthy Italian trial process, with the defendant given one-third off their sentence if convicted.

Today's request does not mean that Conte has been convicted of anything, as the judge in the trial will now consider the prosecutor's evidence, as well as that of the Coach, and decide whether to acquit, uphold the prosecutor's request or hand down a lighter sentence.

If the judge decides to convict, Conte would have the option of appealing to the Court of Appeal, then the Court of Cassation. Under Italian law, he would not be considered guilty until either all possible appeals had been rejected, or he accepted the verdict.

The ruling in the case is expected to be delivered in mid-May, potentially impacting on the Azzurri’s preparations for Euro 2016.

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