Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018

Dell'Utri probed in Naples library theft


Naples, January 29 - Marcello Dell'Utri, a
Mafia-linked former close aide of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi,
was placed under investigation Tuesday in a probe into the
alleged theft of antique books from the important Girolamini
library in Naples.
Dell'Utri, a Senator with Berlusconi's People of Freedom
(Pdl) party on trial for allegedly helping Cosa Nostra and a
noted bibliophile, is believed to have taken possession of
several of the 1,500 books allegedly stolen from the library by
its former head, Marino Massimo De Caro.
Two people, a book-binder in Bologna who allegedly
cancelled the Girolamini imprint from the books and a 'runner'
who allegedly linked the thieves with buyers, were arrested
while arrest warrants were served on four people already in
The four were detained last April when police blocked 500
volumes set for auction in Munich, Germany.
All six now face charges of conspiracy, forgery and receipt
of stolen goods.
Investigations began in April 2012 after media reported
that around 1,500 precious books were missing from the library,
then under the direction of De Caro, a former advisor to the
culture ministry.
The probe has reportedly revealed the existence of an
association dedicated to the systematic depletion of the
contents of the library founded in 1586 and known particularly
for its vast collection of writings on philosophy and theology.
Meanwhile searches continued across Italy to locate
numerous volumes that are still missing and which may have ended
up on the antique book market.
Earlier this month Dell'Utri was removed from the PdL's
list of candidates in upcoming general elections due to concern
within the party over the impact among voters of the criminal
proceedings against him.
He is currently facing justice in Palermo for allegedly
helping the Mafia after Italy's Supreme Court of Cassation
overturned an earlier nine-year conviction and ordered a retrial
on grounds that his legal rights had not been observed.
The chief prosecutor has asked for him to be sentenced to
seven years in jail.
Dell'Utri, whose cultural interests and vast book
collection have often been praised by Berlusconi, is the former
head of the media magnate's advertising arm who is credited with
creating the three-time premier's first party, Forza Italia, in
1993, a year before it swept to victory in general elections.

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