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Ex-minister Scajola acquitted because he 'didn't know'

Ex PdL politician not guilty in gift of house near Colosseum

11 March, 18:57
Ex-minister Scajola acquitted because he 'didn't know' (ANSA) - Rome, March 11 - Italy's former minister of industry Claudio Scajola was acquitted on charges related to a shady real-estate deal involving an expensive home with a view on Rome's iconic Colosseum because he "did not know" how the flat had been paid for, Rome judges said as they released the reasons for the judgement on Tuesday.

Prosecutors had originally asked that Scajola and his co-defendant in the case, businessman Diego Anemone, be given three-year jail sentences and fined two million euros each on charges of illicit funding.

Scajola, who was acquitted on January 27, defended himself by saying that others paid for his home in 2004 "without his knowledge".

He had been acquitted in January but the reasons were not immediately released.

A member of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party at the time, Scajola was forced to resign in 2010.

The case against Anemone was timed out by the statute of limitations.

The property was allegedly bought by Anemone, who is said to have paid 1.1 million euros of a total of 1.7 million euros through architect Angelo Zampolini for the purchase, as well as paying 100,000 euros for renovations.

The case was part of a broader investigation into alleged illegal activities by Anemone that emerged following the 2009 Group of Eight (G8) summit in Italy.

The meeting of G8 international leaders was initially scheduled to be held in La Maddalena in Sardinia before being moved to the earthquake-stricken town of L'Aquila.