ATLANTA -- A federal judge agreed Thursday to order a trial for the former manager of the Atlanta branch of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro on charges that he authorized fraudulent loans to Iraq before Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob said he concluded after a three-week sentencing hearing for Christopher Drogoul that the bank was not a victim of a loan scandalbut that its officials "knew or closed their eyes" to the Atlanta branch's extending loans to Iraq.

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