No convictions among 28 in Campania trash trial
Statute of limitations frees many, waste co. fined 750,000 euros04 November, 15:36
Bassolino had been accused of failing to terminate a contract with the public contractor supplying rubbish management.
Prosecutor Paolo Sirleo asked that Bassolino's charges be dropped under the statute of limitations even though he claimed Bassolino's actions contributed to the commission of crimes.
Charges for other defendants included public-supplier fraud and forgery, but a large number of those charges were also dropped due to the statute of limitations, as they allegedly took place from 2000 to 2005.
Pierluigi Romiti, ex-manager of Impregilo, as well as Armando Cattaneo and Angelo Pelliccia, the ex-chief executive and the ex-general director of Fibe, respectively, also emerged sentence-free despite the prosecutor's plea for conviction.
The Impregilo Group, parent company of Fibe, which won the bid for the handling Campania's waste management, was slapped with a 750,000-euro fine and banned from public-administration contracts for two years.
Campania, the region around Naples, has suffered repeated trash crises in recent years after running out of places to put its waste.
In January 2008, the region suffered a collapse in the rubbish-collection system.
Despite drafting in the army to clear the streets, reopening old dumps and moving containers of waste out of Campania by ship and train, an estimated 40,000 tonnes of rubbish continued to line the region's streets.
The government of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi adopted hardline measures to cope with the crisis, including the opening of temporary dump sites, the building of four new incinerator power plants and the option of using armed forces to protect dump sites and refuse treatment facilities.
Residents in towns where some of the sites are located, worried about repercussions on their health, staged protests, often clashing violently with the police.