Former Italian mayor jailed for corruption

27 Feb 19

An ex-mayor of Rome has been sentenced to six years in prison and given a lifetime ban on holding public office after being found guilty of corruption and illegal financing.

Gianni Alemanno, who was Rome’s mayor from 2008 to 2013, set up a foundation to gain access to €200,000 of public money in illegal financing, a court heard on Monday.

He was accused of accepting the money in exchange for appointing suspected crooks to senior posts within his government.

Prosecutors also told the court Alemanno, a member of the centre right People of Freedom Party, directed city funds to a company run by an accomplice, who was part of a criminal network.

Alemanno, a member of the centre right People of Freedom Party, denied all wrongdoing and told reporters as he left the courthouse: “It is an incorrect sentence.

“I am innocent, I have always said it and I will repeat before the judges on appeal.”

Alemanno had worked closely with Salvatore Buzzi, the head of a cooperative working for Rome’s city council and the intermediary between the politicians and the criminals in the criminal network, the court heard. Buzzi was sentenced to 18 years in prison in September last year.

This case was one of a number that have emerged from the so-called ‘Mafia Capital’ scandal in 2015, when investigators uncovered a network of corruption and influence-peddling involving politicians, businessmen and criminals.

Forty-six people were eventually charged in the case. The court acquitted Alemanno of Mafia association, local media reported.

Alemanno is expected to launch an immediate appeal.

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