– International Herald Tribune reports that a judge ruled … – International Herald Tribune reports that a judge ruled Wednesday not to unite three proceedings stemming from Parmalat SpA’s €14 billion (US$18.14 billion) collapse into a single trial, a move that cancels the prospect of a single mega-trial with over 100 defendants.

Parma-based judge Domenico Truppa’s surprise decision is a defeat for former Parmalat boss Calisto Tanzi and his defense team, which had repeatedly requested one trial for separate proceedings relating to the collapse of the Italian dairy company.

Parmalat declared bankruptcy in December 2003 after saying it did not have the cash in hand to meet creditors’ deadlines. It revealed a debt of €14 billion ($18.14 billion) — eight times higher than it had previously said.

Tanzi’s lawyers have blamed banks for leading the dairy giant to its downfall, asking Parma magistrates to address in a single trial allegations related to the banks’ responsibility along with that of former managers.

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