Fiorito says regional council pres knew about corruption

Ex-caucus chief points fingers during questioning

Fiorito says regional council pres knew about corruption

(ANSA) - Rome, October 4 - Franco Fiorito, the disgraced former caucus chief in the Lazio region of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, said the president of the regional council Mario Abruzzese was aware of how the funds at the center of a scandal were divided up. Fiorito, who was being interrogated after his arrest earlier this week for allegedly embezzling public money, said "Abbruzzese was aware of how the funds were being divided up" and helped those doing it. Fiorito was arrested and taken to prison on Tuesday after a judge agreed with prosecutors that there was a risk he could reoffend or tamper with evidence. He denies any wrongdoing. Prosecutors on Thursday seized more than 1.3 million euros' worth of assets from Fiorito. The case, which exploded when Fiorito was put under investigation earlier this month, caused the PdL's Renata Polverini to step down as governor of Lazio last week. The scandal is seen by many as a threat to the centre-right PdL's chances of maintaining its position as the biggest party in parliament in next year's general elections. Berlusconi's party currently trails far behind the main centre-left Democratic Party (PD) in the polls.

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