Corruption inquiry names journalists

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ITALY'S 'Clean Hands' corruption team has accused three prominent journalists of taking money from the scandal-hit Ferruzzi group, writes Patricia Clough.

The blow was particularly sharp in the case of Giuseppe Turani, probably Italy's most brilliant economics commentator, who had played a leading role in the campaign by La Repubblica against corruption and political mal practices long before magistrates started investigating.

The allegation, which he firmly denies, that he took 500 million lire ( pounds 200,000) in return for writing favourable articles, concern a period when he was working for the Corriere della Sera. He has taken leave from La Repub blica during investigations.

The other two accused journalists are Ugo Bertone of La Stampa and Osvaldo De Paolini, formerly of the financial daily Il Sole-24 Ore. They, too, deny the allegations which were made by Carlo Sama, Ferruzzi's former managing director. Magistrates have still to decide whether to bring the journalists to court, or refer the issue to a professional body.