Berlusconi staff are sought in new graft inquiry
Monday 25 July 1994
The two, Salvatore Sciascia, the group tax director of Fininvest, and Gianmarco Rizzi, his assistant, were among 20 businessmen and police in Milan who were issued with arrest warrants. The warrants were handed out by Milan's elite pool of anti-graft magistrates looking into allegations that businesses paid bribes to ensure easy treatment by police in tax investigations and other inquiries.
There was no indication that Mr Berlusconi was directly involved in the scandal and the affair does not involve any political parties. But the fact that two of Mr Berlusconi's employees are being sought lays him open to opposition criticism of alleged conflicts between his business empire and government role.
'We have a Prime Minister with so many interests that condition him,' said Massimo D'Alema, leader of the former-communist Democratic Party of the Left (PDS). Mr D'Alema, noting that Giulio Tremonti, the Finance Minister, faced litigation with tax authorities and that Cesare Previti, the Defence Minister, had worked for a large defence contractor, added: 'It seems everyone has had the right Cabinet post to take care of his own affairs.' Other figures held included Felice Vitali, director-general of one of Italy's biggest holding companies, Gemina, which controls the authoritative Corriere della Sera newspaper. The two Fininvest managers were at large yesterday but Mr Sciascia's lawyer said his client would soon turn himself in.
Giuseppe Cerciello, the Finance Police General, who was freed only recently under Mr Berlusconi's decree, was detained once again in the wave of arrests on Saturday. Mr Cerciello was one of 2,500 people, including more than 230 graft suspects, who left jail after the government passed the decree. Most of them were under house arrest.
In his first political defeat since entering politics Mr Berlusconiwas forced last Tuesday to withdraw the decree because of widespread concern that it would hamper corruption investigations. Mr Berlusconi defended it as a charter for human rights.
The dispute, which brought Mr Berlusconi's government to the brink of collapse, was fuelled when the Milan magistrates asked to be transferred to other jobs. Yesterday a leading member of Mr Berlusconi's Forza Italia party accused them of vengeance.
'They are taking their revenge,' Tiziana Maiolo, the head of Parliament's Justice Commission, said: 'It's as if (Antonio ) Di Pietro (a Milan magistrate) was telling the country: 'Look, with the decree our hands were tied, but without it we continue to send people to jail'.'
In an editorial Corriere della Sera said the magistrates had no choice but to root out corruption.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Doctors remove 80 teeth from boy's jaw
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing
Syrian teenager Usaid Barho reveals how he escaped from Isis using a suicide vest
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national Company that manu...
£13000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Maintenance Assistant is requ...
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...