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Italian Space Agency chief tenders resignation amid probe

Seven investigated for alleged kickbacks

07 February, 13:34
Italian Space Agency chief tenders resignation amid probe (ANSA) - Rome, February 7 - Italian Space Agency (ASI) President Enrico Saggese tendered his resignation Friday amid a probe into alleged kickbacks in contracts. Rome prosecutors placed Saggese and six others under investigation Thursday, carrying out searches in ASI offices and in those of suppliers, as well as in suspects' homes. Investigations began after an ASI manager reported being the object of an attempted bribe. The suspects, who include two employees of Italian aerospace and defence giant Finmeccanica, could face charges of bribery and corruption. Saggese denies all wrongdoing, and his decision to step down, according to an ASI statement, was in order "to defend his integrity, reputation and prestige after more than 40 years of experience in the field". Other organisations implicated in the probe include Sistina Travel, which organises foreign travel on behalf of ASI employees, the Italian Aerospace Research Centre (CIRA), Get-It, Eurofiere, Art Work and Space Engineering, which have offices across the peninsula.