Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018
NAPLES

Lavitola to serve extortion sentence in house arrest

English
© ANSA

Naples, May 23 - A former newspaper director found
guilty of attempting to extort three-time premier Silvio
Berlusconi was approved Thursday to serve his sentence under
house arrest.
Valter Lavitola, an associate of the media magnate and the
former director of Avanti!, received a two-year, eight-month
sentence in March for attempted blackmail in exchange for
hushing up payments to escorts at alleged sex parties at the
ex-premier's home.
Berlusconi has always denied paying for sex and says he
believes the young women were not prostitutes.
Lavitola is also reported to have had a key role in
procuring a false document from a Caribbean island to keep
ex-House speaker Gianfranco Fini, a key Berlusconi
friend-turned-foe, embroiled in an alleged scandal over a house
in Monte Carlo.
He was recently linked to Senator Sergio De Gregorio, a
Senator who confessed to prosecutors that he received two
million euros from Berlusconi, an alleged bribe to switch sides
after being elected for Romano Prodi in 2006, which De Gregorio
denies.
Wiretaps published in the Italian media appear to show
Lavitola boasting about being able to turn other Senators to
undermine the Prodi government, which crumbled after two years.
Prosecutors have moved to indict Berlusconi, De Gregorio
and Lavitola in this case.
Lavitola, who came back to Italy last year after a
self-imposed exile which Berlusconi advised, is also involved in
alleged corruption with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli
and his government regarding contracts for the construction of
prisons in the Central American country.
He is currently waiting to be fitted with an electronic
tracing anklet for his house arrest, officials said Thursday.

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