Savoini summoned by prosecutors

Probed for international corruption in League Russia case

(ANSA) - Milan, July 15 - Paolo Savoini, a far-right League member under investigation for international corruption linked to alleged funding via alleged Russian oil kickbacks, has been summoned for questioning by Milan prosecutors Monday afternoon.
    Savoini, president of the Lombardy-Russia Association, has been linked to the League's ties with Russia.
    League leader Matteo Salvini has described the probe as "ridiculous" and has denied inviting Savoini to take part in two bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin recently.
    But Premier Giuseppe Conte said at the weekend that an invitation for Savoini for the second of the meetings, at Rome's Villa Madama, was requested by Salvini's international strategy advisor Claudio D'Amico.
    Conte said Sunday that his government was not in danger of collapsing over the suspicions Savoini discussed taking funding via oil kickbacks from Russia.
    Milan prosecutors opened a probe after reports that Savoini and two other Italians met with two other Italians and three Russians in a Moscow hotel on October 18 to discuss siphoning off an alleged 65 million euros from oil profits.
    Savoini was also present at two bilateral meetings involving Putin.
    "I'd say no," Conte replied when asked if his government was at risk over the case ahead of the closing ceremony of the 2019 Universaide in Naples. "Mr Savoini has never had a government position.
    "So this investigation only regards him at the moment.
    "It would seem to be a mistaken observation to me to say that it could put the government at risk," added Conte, who at the weekend issued a statement that contradicted elements of Deputy Premier Salvini's version regarding Savoini's presence at the bilateral meetings.
    "I clarified things and I think I was very clear. I'll let the judiciary investigate".
    Interior Minister and League leader Salvini said his party has not taken a rouble off the Russians and described the case as "ridiculous".