Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018

Berlusconi set to drop 'tainted' politicians for vote


(see related stories)
Rome, January 21 - Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi has
said he is going to drop some senior members of his People of
Freedom (PdL) party who are linked to criminal cases from his
list of candidates for parliament for next month's elections.
Berlusconi said at the weekend that it made him feel "bad"
to ask the politicians not to stand, as none of them had
received a definitive criminal conviction.
Among the candidates who will not stand are Senator
Marcello Dell'Utri, a former close aide of Berlusconi's who is
on trial for alleged links to the Mafia.
Another is former industry minister Claudio Scajola, who is
on trial over a shady real-estate deal regarding a house bought
for him near the Colosseum in Rome by a businessman. He is also
probed for alleged corruption concerning Brazilian contracts for
Italian defence giant Finmeccanica.
Marco Milanese, a PdL MP and a former consultant for
ex-economy minister Giulio Tremonti, said Monday he would not
run for parliament. Milanese is implicated in several probes.
Berlusconi also mentioned another MP, Alfonso Papa, who
is suspected of conspiracy in the so-called P4 inquiry looking
into bribery and corruption at a top level.
But Papa said Sunday he had no intention of withdrawing his
The former head of the PdL in Campania, Nicola Cosentino,
is reportedly resisting pressure for him not to stand as well.
Cosentino, a former economy undersecretary, is set to go on
trial for allegedly helping the Casalesi clan of the Naples
Camorra mafia invest in a shopping mall near Caserta.
According to media reports, PdL Secretary Angelino Alfano
has been pushing hard for the party's lists to be purged of
candidates linked to criminal cases.
Berlusconi has said Alfano will be premier if the centre
right wins the election and he will be economy minister.
The PdL has been among the parties to be hit hardest by a
series of corruption probes over the last year, with scandals
forcing centre-right regional administrations in Lazio and
Lombardy to collapse in 2012.

photo: Marcello Dell'Utri.

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