MILAN - The erstwhile executive sacked by WPP Group in January has opened a new front in the legal battle with his former employer by filing a criminal defamation suit in Italy against ceo Sir Martin Sorrell.
   Marco Benatti filed a complaint with the public prosecutor in Milan on March 23. A WPP spokesman said the complaint "has absolutely no merit".
   The ongoing acrimonious dispute between the London-headquartered marketing services conglomerate and its former 'country manager' centres around fraud allegations [WAMN: 31-Jan-06].