Italian officials implicated in kickbacks

May 13, 2010 12:00 am

, ROME, May 13 – Prosecutors have a list of 350 Italian politicians, top civil servants and police officials who have allegedly received kickbacks from a public works contractor, news reports said Thursday.

The list was found last year on the computer of the Rome-based entrepreneur who was at the centre of last week\’s resignation of economic development minister Claudio Scajola, the reports said.

The entrepreneur, Diego Anemone, is implicated in other corruption scandals notably one involving public safety chief Guido Bertolaso.

Released Sunday from some three months of preventive custody, he denied any wrongdoing, insisting he had "always worked honestly".

Scajola is suspected of accepting a large sum of money from Anemone towards the purchase in July 2004 of a luxury apartment in central Rome, while Bertolaso is under investigation for alleged irregularities in the award of reconstruction contracts in earthquake-hit L\’Aquila, in central Italy.

Contracts cited on Anemone\’s list included work at Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi\’s official Rome residence, Palazzo Grazioli, and his office, Palazzo Chigi, the daily La Repubblica reported.

Prosecutors in the central city of Perugia are seeking to determine how much Anemone paid to civil servants who channelled public works projects his way.

They have already located more than three million euros (3.8 million dollars) in a Deutsche Bank account in the name of architect Angelo Zampolini, the alleged intermediary in some of Anemone\’s transactions.

Among the contracts were works in preparation for the Group of Eight summit that was to have been held in Sardinia in 2009 but was moved to L\’Aquila, and World Swimming Championships in Rome, also last year.


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