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Ex-Finmeccanica consultant indicted on aggravated corruption

'Promised Panamanian president 18-mn-euro bribe'

18 March, 15:40
Ex-Finmeccanica consultant indicted on aggravated corruption (ANSA) - Rome, March 18 - A Rome prosecutor on Tuesday indicted former Berlusconi associate Valter Lavitola on aggravated corruption charges in relation to an influence-peddling case known as the P4 affair.

A former consultant to Finmeccanica aerospace and defense giant, Lavitola has been indicted along with former Finmeccanica commercial director, Paolo Pozzessere.

The co-defendants allegedly promised Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli an 18-million-euro bribe in exchange for assuring contracts worth 180 million euros to Finmeccanica.

A former director of Avanti! newspaper, Lavitola was sentenced in March 2013 on charges of attempting to blackmail Silvio Berlusconi in exchange for hushing up payments to escorts at the ex-premier's home.

Lavitola was also indicted along with Berlusconi in October last year for allegedly acting as a go-between in the case of Senator Sergio De Gregorio, who confessed to switching political sides after receiving two million euros from the centre-right leader during a centre-left government led by ex-European Commission president Romano Prodi, who beat Berlusconi in two general elections.