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article imageCorruption probe in Italy lists 350 politicians, celebrities

By R. C. Camphausen     May 17, 2010 in Politics
Rome - Almost 400 names of Italian politicians, civil servants and celebrities appear on a secret found on the computer of a construction company that claimed to offer construction work free of charge.
The list in question, which is said to contain 350 to 412 names, was discovered by investigators on the computer of Diego Anemone, a 38-year-old builder/constructor who claims that his company has always worked honestly.
However, considering that the BBC is able to write that Anemone seems to have performed all of his construction work free, the suspicion cannot be totally unfounded that something's wrong here. (The BBC link above does not lead to a written article, but to a video dealing with these matters).
What is perhaps most surprising is the fact that while Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has publicly stated that there will be no mercy for any wrongdoer - i.e. people on the list who may possibly be involved in graft and corruption - his anger seemed directed at the fact that the names are now public knowledge. The website Life in Italy has the following quote: "It's unacceptable that the list of a company's clients is held up by the press as a list of wrongdoers. It is up to the judiciary to see if there are one, two or three cases of wrongdoing," said a statement released by the premier's office.
The same article also sheds some light on what may have been happening, writing According to media reports, investigators suspect that Anemone's construction firm may have performed work free of charge in the homes of some 350 people - perhaps as many as 412- in a bid to win lucrative state contracts.
The eight-page list includes the names of politicians, top civil servants, police officials and high-profile entertainment personalities, some of which have already denied any wrongdoing, saying they can prove they've paid Anemone's company. On the other hand, former industry minister Claudio Scajola already resigned last week amid reports that Anemone partly paid for the purchase of his Rome apartment in 2004.
For the moment, there are more questions than answers, and one has to wait and see if there will be any arrests and how many. Anemone, meanwhile, was released from preventive custody on Sunday.
More about Italy, Diego anemone, Graft, Corruption, List
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