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Ex-industry minister may face trial again for home scandal

Scajola acquitted, but prosecutors appeal 'disregard of facts'

27 March, 14:08
Ex-industry minister may face trial again for home scandal (ANSA) - Rome, March 27 - Italy's former industry minister Claudio Scajola may face trial again for charges related to a shady real-estate deal involving an expensive home with a view on Rome's iconic Colosseum.

In January a judge acquitted him and his co-defendant, businessman Diego Anemone, because Scajola "did not know" how the flat had been paid for.

On Thursday prosecutors submitted an appeal to that ruling, arguing it was made with an "utter disregard of the evidence".

Prosecutors had originally asked that they both be given three-year jail sentences and fined two million euros each on charges of illicit funding.

Scajola defended himself by saying that others paid for his home in 2004 "without his knowledge".

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.