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Berlusconi MP probed over mafia links

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Berlusconi MP probed over mafia links
The MP is at the centre of an investigation into public contracts allegedly granted to mafia-linked firms. Police photo: Shutterstock
13:36 CEST+02:00
An MP for Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party is being investigated for collusion with the mafia, Italian media reported on Wednesday, just a day after a high-profile politician from the party was arrested on corruption charges.

Prosecutors have written to the Italian parliament asking for permission to arrest Luigi Cesaro, an MP and ex president of Naples province, Rai News reported on Wednesday.

The Forza Italia politician is at the centre of an investigation into public contracts granted to mafia-linked firms, the news site said.

Numerous contracts were allegedly assigned to businesses close to the Casalesi clan, part of the Camorra mafia, including one to build a sports facility in the town of Lusciano. The accusations were reportedly made by mafia informant Luigi Guida, who previous led the Bidognetti clan.

Nicola Ferraro, a former regional councillor, is also under investigation along with other former state employees and a number of Cesaro’s brothers, Rai News said.

Cesaro has previously faced charges of colluding with the mafia, but after being found guilty in the first instance he was acquitted by Italy’s highest court.

The request for the MP’s arrest will come as a further blow to Forza Italia, a day after a high-profile politician from the party was arrested on corruption charges.

Giancarlo Galan, former culture minister, is accused of being involved in millions of euros of kickbacks siphoned off from Venice’s “Moses” flood barrier project. MPs voted on Tuesday to approve a request from prosecutors to arrest the politician. 

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