Secret 'Ndrangheta cupola 'picked men for parliament' (3)

'Interacted systematically with politics, institutions, business

(ANSA) - Rome, July 15 - Italian police on Friday said they had uncovered a secret cupola of the Calabria-based 'Ndrangheta mafia that they said interacted systematically with police and institutions and picked "affiliates" for parliament.
    Arrest warrants were issued for five people including a Senator in Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI) party, Antonio Caridi. Police said the structure was "able to dictate the strategic action" of the whole organisation and to "interact systematically and discreetly with political, institutional and business circles. FI Senator Caridi is one of the five people involved in the operation police said. His arrest warrant has been sent to the Senate immunity panel. Warrants were also issued for former Democratic Socialist MP Paolo Romeo, in jail since May 9, former regional councillor Alberto Sarra, lawyer Giorgio De Stefano and Francesco Chirico. The cupola picked "affiliates to be placed in the Italian parliament", police said. The cupola had a "decisive role" in conditioning many "electoral appointments in a municipal, provincial and regional" sphere", police said. Giuseppe Scopelliti and Pietro Fuda were elected respectively mayor and president of the province of Reggio Calabria in 2002 thanks to votes from the 'Ndrangheta, anti-mafia investigators said.
    They underlined the "decisive role in the elections played by lawyers Paolo Romeo and Giorgio De Stefano", who were arrested Friday.
   

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