Martedì, 18 Settembre 2018

Scajola probed in Finmeccanica graft case


Rome, October 23 - Italy's former industry minister
Claudio Scajola was placed under a graft investigation Tuesday
for his role in Italian defence giant Finmeccanica's supply
contracts to Brazil.
"I reiterate that with respect to my responsibilities as
industry minister, I traveled the world always respecting the
laws and the rules," Scajola told Italian television.
Earlier in the day a senior manager of the State-controlled
defence group was arrested in connection with investigations
into the supply of helicopters and weapons to Panama.
Former commercial director Paolo Pozzessere, currently
Finmeccanica's senior advisor for relations with Russia, was
arrested on suspicion of international corruption in relation to
deliveries made by three Finmeccanica subsidiaries,
AgustaWestland, Selex and Telespazio, to the Panama government
under agreements with the Italian State.
Finmeccanica is 30%-owned by the Italian government.
Scajola, who served under ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, is
suspected of involvement in corrupt deals involving the supply
of naval frigates to Brazil.
"I always conducted these duties in the light of day and in
official meetings," he said.
"I have never had private encounters. I am at ease and do
not understand what there is behind it, but from now on I am
available to the magistrates should they want to hear me on the
The investigations come as Finmeccanica and its CEO
Giuseppe Orsi find themselves at the centre of controversy over
an alleged kickback scheme connected to a 560-million-euro
contract involving the sale in 2010 of 12 helicopters by
AgustaWestland to the Indian government.
Orsi has denied any wrongdoing and said he would only
resign his post if asked to do so by the Italian government.
The CEO has also denied any wrongdoing in an investigation
that began earlier this year into the alleged payment of bribes
to political parties.

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