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Indictment sought for Puglia governor over ILVA steelworks

Nichi Vendola among 50 facing court in mass pollution probe

06 March, 14:08
Indictment sought for Puglia governor over ILVA steelworks (ANSA) - Taranto, March 6 - Puglia Governor Nichi Vendola was named Thursday among 50 people prosecutors were seeking to indict in an investigation into an environmental disaster at the ILVA steelworks. Vendola, the head of the leftist SEL party, is accused of aggravated extorsion. Prosecutors also listed three businesses in their probe. Also under investigation is the Riva family, who owns the ILVA plant in the southern port city of Taranto, as well as the mayor, a police officer, a priest, and various public officials.

Vendola is suspected of trying to oust the managing director of the regional environmental authority ARPA, who allegedly was "disliked" by ILVA management, according to investigation warrants issued last fall.

The ILVA plant has been at the center of a long-running judicial and political drama as courts have moved to force the company to make expensive environmental upgrades after more than a decade of polluting the area and creating health problems for workers and nearby residents.