Ex-Finmeccanica chief arrested in bribery probe

The former chairman of Finmeccanica, Italy’s state-controlled defence and industrial conglomerate, has been placed under house arrest over alleged links to a corruption racket involving a government project.

Ex-Finmeccanica chief arrested in bribery probe
Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, the former chairman of Finmeccanica, has been placed under house arrest over bribery allegations. Photo: Pierre Verdy/AFP

In the latest corruption scandal to blight Italian politics, Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, who headed up Finmeccanica for nine years, has been linked to alleged bribery in relation to contracts for Sistri, a satellite monitoring project for waste transportation commissioned by the environment ministry, La Stampa reported.

Guarguaglini, who was last year cleared of false accounting at the firm, is accused of receiving an €800,000 bribe from Vincenzo Angeloni, a businessman who was arrested in March as part of the investigation.

His arrest warrant was issued based on fresh evidence that has come to light since the probe got underway in March, La Stampa reported.  Investigators are also looking into whether money from "secret slush funds" was used to fund political parties.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged to fight corruption in the wake of embarassing public project scandals. Earlier this month, Venice's mayor Giorgio Orsoni resigned amid a sweeping corruption investigation into a multi-billion-euro flood barrier project to save the island city from rising sea levels.

He had been arrested along with nine other politicians and business leaders in a fraud investigation involving around 100 people, including a retired police general.

The Venice scandal followed similar investigations into building contracts for Milan Expo 2015, post-quake reconstruction in L'Aquila and preparations for the G8 summit in 2009.

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