Former Bank of Italy governor Antonio Fazio was cleared on appeal Wednesday of wrongdoing for his alleged role in a 2005 scandal-hit bank takeover bid. The appeals court verdict quashed a three-and-a-half year sentence handed down on October 31. Also cleared on appeal were 10 other defendants found guilty in October. In the earlier verdict, Fazio was found guilty of market-rigging in connection with insurer Unipol\'s failed attempt to gain control of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), which had been set to be sold to Spain\'s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) and was later taken over by the French bank BNP Paribas. Earlier last year the 76-year-old banker was sentenced to a four-year prison term in a similar 2005 case in which he was accused of attempting to thwart another foreign bank takeover. He has not been jailed because of his age and the ongoing appeals. In Wednesday\'s ruling all defendants were cleared of market-rigging. Former Unipol chief Giovanni Consorte had his original three year, 10 month sentence cut to one year and seven months.