lunedì 12 maggio 2014

Scajola allegedly transferred money to fugitive

Intercepted phone call shows Rizzo, former minister's talks

(ANSA) - Reggio Calabria, May 12 - Former cabinet minister Claudio Scajola allegedly transferred money to a fugitive from a personal financial account he held at the Lower House treasury, according to a request for a custody warrant issued by an judge. The request is based on information from an intercepted telephone call on February 5 between Scajola and Chiara Rizzo, the wife of the fugitive Amedeo Matacena, a former MP who has been convicted of mafia links.

Rizzo was scheduled to appear before judges in Nice on Monday regarding her possible extradition to Italy for alleged mafia association and conspiracy. Rizzo was arrested at the airport there over the weekend after her flight landed from Dubai, where her husband is a fugitive from Italian justice after receiving a binding five-year conviction for mafia links. Rizzo said she was ready to "put herself at the disposal" of the Italian justice system and "clear up" the matter of her husband, who is said to be close to the Rosmini clan of Calabria's notorious 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate.

Last week the affair made headlines after Scajola was arrested and put under investigation for alleged criminal conspiracy and mafia association, on suspicion that he helped Matecena flee. Investigators claim Scajola, a 66-year-old member of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right Forza Italia (FI) party and former industry and interior minister under separate Berlusconi governments, tried to help Matacena reach the Lebanese capital of Beirut from Dubai.

Prosecutors have said Scajola and the seven other people against whom arrest warrants have been served in connection with the case were "the terminus of a complex and largely secret criminal system that also operated on foreign territory". 

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