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Three arrested in Sardinian wind farms probe

July 8, 2010

By Guy Dinmore in Rome, July 8

An investigation into suspected corruption surrounding contracts for wind farms in Sardinia led to the arrests of three suspects on Thursday, including Flavio Carboni, a businessman with alleged ties to a leading politician in Italy’s ruling People of Liberty party.

Italian media quoted Mr Carboni’s lawyer, Renato Borzone, as saying he had been taken to Rome’s Regina Coeli prison.

Mr Carboni has denied the allegations. A well known figure, Mr Carboni, 78, was acquitted in May of charges of involvement in the murder of Roberto Calvi, the former head of Banco Ambrosiano known as God’s Banker who was found hanging under London’s Blackfriars bridge in June, 1982.

Denis Verdini, a member of parliament and one of three managers of the People of Liberty, is also under investigation in connection with the Sardinian wind farms case in his role as head of Credito Cooperativo Fiorentino, a bank in Tuscany, where Mr Carboni is reported to have deposited money.

Mr Verdini has denied any wrongdoing. Silvio Berlusconi, prime minister and leader of the People of Liberty, has spoken out in public in support of Mr Verdini. The governor of Sardinia, Ugo Cappellacci, elected last year in a campaign backed by Mr Berlusconi , is also reported to be under investigation in the case.

Italian media also reported the arrests on Thursday of Pasquale Lombardi, a surveyor and former politician, and Arcangelo Martino, a Naples businessman.

Reports cited Rome prosecutors as saying they were also investigating the possible involvement of the three arrested suspects in a secret society.
Italian media, quoting investigating magistrate Giovanni De Donato in submitting his request for the three arrests, said the men were suspected of forming a secret and criminal organisation with the possible intent of influencing constitutional bodies and public authorities. The three men were said to have attempted to approach judges of the Constitutional Court late last year when they were deliberating on a law passed by parliament to give immunity from prosecution to Silvio Berlusconi, prime minister, and other senior officials. The court ultimately threw out the law as unconstitutional

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