The owners of Knighthood Global, a consulting company Estonian state-owned airline Nordica hired in spring, is facing criminal charges in in Italy in connection with the bankruptcy of Alitalia, daily Postimees writes.
Knighthood Global's owners, aviation experts James Hogan and James Rigney, have, along with 12 other former employees of Alitalia and Etihad, been charged with aggravated fraudulent bankruptcy, false corporate communications, obstacles to supervision, Malta-based investigative portal The Shift News reports.
Additionally they face expenses charges, relating to accommodation and meals, which, prosecutors say, when taken together contributed to the collapse of Alitalia; the defendants maintain their innocence in the ongoing trial at the Civitavecchia court in Rome.
The Shift News says that the charges were filed as early as late 2022, prior to Nordica hiring Knighthood Global in summer this year, for the provision of consultancy work in addressing Nordica's plummet into losses, reported at €7.2 million for the first half of this year.
Sources told The Shift that apart from the €200,000 a month that Knighthood Global receives for its consultancy services, at a cost to taxpayers of almost €5 million between 2022 and 2023, they also provide other consultants, paid separately outside the primary contract.
Nordic Aviation Group (NAG) Board Chair David O'Brock says that the company is aware of its contractual partner's legal issues and what they relate to.
Alitalia, once Italy's national flag carrier, entered into administration in 2017 and ceased operations altogether in October 2021.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: Postimees, The Shift