Financier Goes on Trial for Murder With New York Man
MILAN, Italy (AP) _ Michele Sindona, a convicted financier extradited from the United States last year, went on trial Tuesday on charges of planning the murder of a bank examiner in Milan in 1979.
The 65-year-old Sindona sat in the defendants’ cage across from a second man charged with murder in the case, Robert Venetucci, 63, of East Northport, N.Y.
Sindona is charged in the indictment with paying $50,000 to a Valley Stream, N.Y., man, William Joseph Arico, for the shooting of Giorgio Ambrosoli outside his home in Milan. Ambrosoli was investigating Sindona’s collapsed Italian banking empire.
Venetucci is accused of being the middleman between Sindona and Arico, a convicted bank robber who fell to his death in an escape attempt from a federal prison in New York in February 1984. Sindona and Venetucci face possible life prison terms if convicted. Twenty-two other defendants are standing trial in the case on charges ranging from extortion to fraud.
The first day of the trial was devoted to procedural matters.
It is the second trial for Sindona since he was extradited to Italy while serving a 25-year term in the United States for fraud in the collapse of the Franklin National Bank, the nation’s worst bank failure.
In March, Sindona was convicted by a Milan court of bank fraud and sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Under the extradition treaty, Sindona must return to the United States to finish his sentence after the Italian proceedings.