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Camorra probe hits MP

Arrest warrant for Berlusconi party governorship candidate

11 November, 23:39
Camorra probe hits MP

ROME - An MP in Premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party has been accused of illegal dealings with the Camorra, the Naples Mafia. A Naples prosecutor wants to arrest Nicola Cosentino, 50, who is economic undersecretary in Berlusconi's government, and has sent his warrant to the Italian parliament.

Under Italian law, warrants against MPs have to be cleared by the house to which he belongs, in this case the Chamber of Deputies (Lower House).

Cosentino, who denies the charges, has been accused by Camorra informants of collusion in illegal waste disposal with the notorious Casalesi clan, a Camorra family featured in writer Roberto Saviano's bestselling expose' Gomorrah.

Cosentino is a native of Casal di Principe, where the Casalesi are based.

He has described the informants' allegations as "baseless stuff from the 1990s". The probe has called into question Cosentino's bid to become president of Campania, the region around Naples, in elections early next year.

Chamber of Deputies Speaker Gianfranco Fini, one of Berlusconi's key allies, said Tuesday Cosentino's candidacy was no longer feasible, whether the House authorises prosecutor Raffaele Picirillo's arrest warrant or not.

"I don't think (the bid) is possible any more," he told Sky television. photo: Cosentino

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