Sabato, 22 Settembre 2018
ROME

Former Lazio governor Storace acquitted of election fraud

English
© ANSA

Rome, October 29 - Former Lazio governor Francesco
Storace and seven others were acquitted on appeal Monday of
dirty tricks in his 2005 regional re-election campaign.
Storace was appealing a suspended 18-month sentence for a
bid to undermine right-wing rival Alessandra Mussolini's run.
At the time Storace was a top member of the rightist
National Alliance (AN), which has since merged with ex-premier
Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party to form the larger
centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party.
Storace left the new party shortly before the merger to
form a new, small, hard-right party, La Destra (The Right).
In 2010 a Rome judge found that Storace had tried to
sabotage Mussolini's campaign by having her declared guilty of
electoral registration malpractice.
Storace, who served as health minister in Berlusconi's
government after Storace's 2005 defeat to the centre left, was
found guilty of ordering a computer break-in to tamper with
Mussolini's election petition.
The court on Monday said the charges were "unfounded".
"Seven years of living hell and today we find that the
case, for which I stepped down as health minister and that cost
me the race in Lazio, is unfounded," said a visibly moved
Storace.
Laziomatica, a company which answered to Storace's regional
administration, was found to have hacked into the computer
archives of Rome city hall and accessed hundreds of names on
Mussolini's election petition.
An ex-director of Laziomattica and Storace's ex-spokesman
Nicolo' Accame were among the acquitted.
Alessandra Mussolini, Benito Mussolini's granddaughter,
after leading a small hard-right party like Storace's, confirmed
Friday she would run in primaries to be the PdL's premier
candidate after Berlusconi said he would not run in next year's
elections.
In what was called the 'Laziogate' scandal, more than 800
signatures on Mussolini's petition were declared fraudulent.
The list included names of the deceased and others whose
existence was dubious, such as people who gave their birth date
as February 31.
Mussolini was eventually allowed to take part in the
election but Rome prosecutors opened an inquiry into the
case that came to trial in 2007.
The man who beat Storace in 2005, Piero Marrazzo of the
Democratic Party (PD), resigned in disgrace in 2009 after it
emerged that rogue cops tried to blackmail him with a video
featuring a transsexual prostitute.
Lazio, the region around Rome, returned to centre-right
control in 2010 when the PdL's Renata Polverini narrowly beat
the PD's Emma Bonino.
Polverini stepped down in September after the regional
caucus leader Franco Fiorito was arrested for alleged
embezzlement.

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