Raggi lied to keep post - prosecutor

Rome mayor accused of lying about senior appointment

(ANSA) - Rome, November 9 - A prosecutor told a trial in which Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi is accused of making false statements about a senior appointment that the first citizen lied to avoid having to quit. The case regards the appointment of Renato Marra as Rome's tourism chief. Marra is the brother of Raffaele Marra, the former head of the city's personnel who was once widely considered the right-hand man of Raggi, a member of the 5-Star Movement (M5S). Raffaele Marra is on trial in an unrelated corruption case.
    Prosecutor Paolo Ielo told the court that Raggi "lied to the city's anti-corruption chief in December 2016" because, if she had said that Renato Marra's appointment was handled by his brother, this would have probably led to an investigation.
    "Under the M5S's code of ethics at the time, she would have had to quit," he added. The code was subsequently amended. Deputy Premier and Labour and Industry Minister Luigi Di Maio, the M5S leader, suggested that Raggi would have to quit if she is found guilty in the case.
    "I don't know the outcome of the trial, but our code of conduct is clear and you know it," he said. The city of Rome's former cabinet chief Carla Raineri told the court that Marra held huge sway over Raggi.
    "Marra had a very strong influence over the mayor," Raineri said. "Lots of nicknames were coined for Marra, eminence grise, Richelieu, stressing the weakness of the mayor like that of the czar's wife in the time of Rasputin". Raggi dismissed Raineri's version of events as "surreal".
    "This trial is about an alleged false statement of mine and for four hours we have listened to gossip-like statements," eh said.
    "I never replied to the interviews with clearly false statements, sometimes biting my lips".