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Centre-left MP suspends himself from PD after arrest request

Lawmaker suspected of fraud related to training contracts

19 March, 13:12
Centre-left MP suspends himself from PD after arrest request (ANSA) - Messina, March 19 - Centre-left MP Francantonio Genovese said Wednesday that he was suspending himself from Premier Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party (PD) after a judge upheld a request from prosecutors for his arrest in relation to a fraud probe.

The Lower House will now have to decide whether to approve the arrest of one of its members following the decision by a judge in the Sicilian city of Messina.

The judge also put four people, including three who work with Genovese, under house arrest.

The MP, the former mayor of Messina, is suspected of illegally profiting from contracts for the public financing of training programmes.

He could face charges that include criminal association, money laundering, embezzlement and fraud. "I give advance notice of my intention to suspend myself from the Democratic Party and the parliamentary party for understandable reasons of opportuneness and the high sense of respect that I have always had for the (State) institutions, my party colleagues and all parliamentarians," Genovese said. He added that he was "certain" he could clarify his position and disprove any suspicions about him.

"I'll do that, with serenity, at every forum, not excluding parliament," he said.