Sabato, 16 Febbraio 2019
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Clini arrested for 'misappropriating 3.4 mn in State funds'


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Ferrara, May 26 - A police report Monday said
Former environment minister Corrado Clini, under house arrest on
graft charges, misappropriated 3.4 million euros in public funds
for a water treatment project in Iraq.
Police placed the 67-year-old under arrest earlier Monday
along with Padua engineer Augusto Calore Pretner for alleged
According to the report, the pair skimmed the money from 54
million euros in environment ministry funds for The New Eden
Project, a joint Iraqi-Italian initiative to restore marshlands
in the Tigris and Euphrates basin.
The investigation was sparked last summer after police
spotted a series of false invoices from Dutch company GBC for
payments to engineering firm Med Ingegneria Srl, based in the
northern Italian city of Ferrara.
Police said Med Ingegneria belonged to a consortium called
Nature Iraq, of which Pretner's Padua-based Studio Galli
Ingegneria was also a member.
With the help of Dutch investigators and EU authorities,
Italian police charged five suspects at the time in the fraud
estimated at 1.5 million euros and confiscated 330,000 euros.
Clini, a senior research fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School
of Government, was later interrogated last October as part of
the investigation.
At the time he was director-general of the environment
ministry, a position he had held before joining the government
of former premier Mario Monti in November 2011, and one he
resumed after the government was replaced in April 2013.
His time in office was marked by his handling of the
environmental disaster surrounding the fatal January 2012
sinking of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, the remains of which
still rest off the coast of the Tuscan island of Giglio.

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