Sabato, 20 Ottobre 2018

Lavitola still in prison due to administrative hang up


Naples, May 24 - A former newspaper director found
guilty of attempting to extort three-time premier Silvio
Berlusconi remained in prison on Friday because Rome justice
officials had not yet fitted him with an electronic tracing
On Thursday, Valter Lavitola - an associate of Berlusconi's
and the ex-director of Avanti! newspaper - received approval to
serve a two-year, eight-month sentence under house-arrest.
"Lavitola finds himself in a paradoxical situation. By
judicial ruling, he should already be home, but the
administrative step has yet to be completed," said Lavitola's
laywer, Gaetano Balice.
Lavitola was convicted in March for attempted blackmail
Berlusconi 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
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
in 2008.
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.

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