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Italian transport minister targeted by corruption probe

Sardinian prosecutor investigates alleged abuse of office

28 February, 16:46
Italian transport minister targeted by corruption probe (ANSA) - Olbia, February 28 - Italian Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi has been placed under investigation for possible abuse of office by prosecutors in Sardinia, according to a report Friday.

Olbia's port authority chief, Fedele Sanciu, is also under investigation, and is suspected of colluding with Lupi in an alleged case of nepotism.

The probe conducted by Prosecutor Riccardo Rossi was prompted by Sanciu's appointment of a centre-right Senator to the post of inspector.

The centre-right minister belongs to the New Centre Right (NCD), and was a high-ranking member of Silvio Berlusconi's defunct People of Freedom Party (PdL). The prosecutor's office is examining whether the current inspector of Olbia has the academic training and credentials necessary to fulfill the job. Investigators were alerted by a provincial councillor who requested prosecutors check the congruity of the appointment with the necessary professional credentials to fulfill the job.

A similar case cropped up several months ago, with a probe launched by the prosecutor's office in Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia.

In that case, former PdL Senator Piergiorgio Massidda was appointed to the helm of the port authority of Cagliari.