Former Italian governor jailed for graft

Milan (Italy), Dec 22 (IANS/AKI) A lower court here on Thursday sentenced the former Lombardy regional Governor Roberto Formigoni to six years in prison and seized assets from him worth 6.6 million euros.

Formigoni was found guilty of favouring the Pavia-based Maugeri heath-care foundation specialising in rehabilitation, in exchange for payments of tens of millions of euros, luxury holidays abroad, dinners, the purchase of a Sardinian villa and exclusive use of three private yachts.

He was barred from holding public office for six years and ordered to pay three million euros in damages to the Lombardy region, where he served as Governor from 1995 until the end of 2012 when his entire scandal-hit administration resigned.

Among the assets impounded from Formigoni were 50 percent of a villa in Sardinia due to be handed back to Formigoni’s close friend Alberto Perego, another defendant in the trial, who was acquitted on Thursday.

Prosecutors had asked for a nine-year jail term for Formigoni, who is currently a senator for the centrist NCD party of Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano.

The Maugeri foundation paid 61 million euros in benefits for Formigoni between 1997 and 2011 via his friend and businessman Pierangelo Dacco and former executive regional councillor Antonio Simone, prosecutors said.

A further nine million euros was paid to Dacco and Simone between 2005 and 2006 including eight million euros of benefits for Formigoni, according to prosecutors. Formigoni in return authorised illicit healthcare reimbursements worth 200 million euros for the Maugeri fund, prosecutors allege.

Dacco was jailed for nine years and two months, Simone for eight years and eight months, the Maugeri foundation’s ex-finance director Costantino Passerino for seven years and another businessman, Carlo Farina, for three years and four months.

Five defendants were cleared in the trial, which followed a probe that began in 2012.

Formigoni denies wrongdoing and claims he paid for holidays on a boat provided by Dacco.

–IANS/AKI

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