Italy Lombardy governor under investigation for graft

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 25, 2012 11:06 AM
Italy Lombardy governor under investigation for graft

MILAN (Reuters) - The governor of Italy's Lombardy region and ally of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Roberto Formigoni, will be questioned in an investigation into alleged bribes paid by a health group to help secure favorable deals.

In a statement to the media on Wednesday, Milan chief prosecutor Edmondo Bruti Liberati said the governor of Italy's wealthiest region was being investigated in an international corruption case with four other people, including a businessman who, according to prosecutors, paid for Formigoni's holidays.

Bruti Liberati gave no further details on the case, which started in April.

The probe is the latest in a series of scandals to hit Italy's main political parties in the past few months, undermining public confidence in politicians after a year of recession and before a general election set for 2013.

Bruti Liberati said Formigoni had been under investigation since June 14 and would be questioned on Saturday.

The governor, a prominent member of Berlusconi's PDL party, said he would comment at a news conference later on Wednesday.

Italian media said in June that Formigoni was being investigated in the case, but he said he had not received notification of this and, at the time, denied any wrongdoing.

Media reported last month that Milan prosecutors alleged a private company running some of the region's clinics paid 500,000 euros ($600,000) to Formigoni's 2010 election campaign.

(Reporting by Manuela D'Alessandro and Sara Rossi; Writing by Antonella Ciancio; Editing by Louise Ireland)