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Turnaround guru Enrico Bondi indicted for perjury

Case refers to testimony regarding 2001 bug found in car

10 October, 17:20
Turnaround guru Enrico Bondi indicted for perjury (ANSA) - Milan, October 10 - A high profile, Italian corporate turnaround guru, Enrico Bondi, was indicted by a Milan judge on Thursday for perjury.

The charge concerns his 2010 testimony regarding a fake bug found in his rental car when he was chief executive of Telecom Italia in 2001, and its possible role in the dismissal of a company executive at the time.

Bondi has served as the government-appointed administrator of major Italian companies in crisis, including the dairy giant Parmalat when it plunged into scandal and default in the mid-2000's, and more recently at ILVA, the huge steel company at the centre of probes following a court-ordered partial shutdown last year due to environmental contamination.

Telecom Italia's ex-head of human resources, Roberto Maglione, was also indicted with Bondi. The case dates back to an illegal spying dossier at Telecom Italia that sparked scandal in 2006 with the arrest of the phone company's then chief of security Giuliano Tavaroli.

At the time, the ex-State monopoly was controlled by the tire company Pirelli. The investigation into Bondi and Maglione concerns a fake bug found on August 20, 2001 in a car Bondi had rented from the Fiumicino airport in Rome, and the subsequent removal of another Telecom Italia executive, Vittorio Nola, who later filed a complaint. Bondi was chief executive of Telecom Italia at the time, having been chosen by Pirelli chief Marco Tronchetti Provera.

Bondi's indictment reads that when he was brought in for questioning on November 12, 2010, Bondi ''failed to communicate what he knew regarding Nola's removal from Telecom, excluding that the latter occurrence was connected with the 'famous' bug event''. The indictment further claims that Maglione ''affirmed the false and denied the truth, when he declared he (as head of human resources) had not attended any meeting between Bondi and Nola'' in which the ''sudden and unmotivated removal'' of Nola occurred ''in reality, in (Maglione's) presence''.

Nola was secretary general of the company at the time.

The prosecutors maintain that Bondi Debate in the trial will begin November 11. In April 2011, the prosecutor's office archived investigations into Tronchetti Provera, Tavaroli and private investigator Emanuele Cipriani's possible roles in the bug.

A related probe into Telecom Italia's role in a major spy ring involving some of its employees ended with a plea bargain in 2010 in as company executives agreed in late January of that year to a settlement.

Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported on February 1, 2010, that lawyers for Telecom Italia and its former parent company Pirelli would pay around 7.5 million euros in fines and damages to keep the case from going to trial.

The deal reportedly kept either company from having to admit responsibility for an illegal surveillance network, which amassed huge amounts of private information on several high-profile figures between 1997 and 2004.