di Francesco Musolino
Rome, October 19 - Lazio Governor Nicola Zingaretti has denounced former leftwing cooperatives kingpin Salvatore Buzzi for slander and will ask to be heard as a witness in the trial against him, according to a statement released on Wednesday. Zingaretti made the announcement after deciding to remain silent during a hearing in one of the parts of the sprawling Capital Mafia case involving a gang of businessmen and politicians who allegedly muscled in on lucrative city contracts. The Lazio Governor is under investigation for conspiracy to commit corruption and attempted bid rigging in relation to the case after Buzzi implicated him last year. However, prosecutors requested the case against Zingaretti and 115 other people be dropped earlier this month. "During his statements in prison in summer 2015 Mr Buzzi accused me and another ten or so people of having committed crimes," Zingaretti said in the statement. "I immediately denounced Mr Buzzi for slander and now I am waiting for the trial against him," he continued. "In order to verify Buzzi's charges the prosecutor's office opened an investigation against me and now the same prosecutor's office has asked the preliminary investigations judge for the case against me and another ten or so people to be shelved". Zingaretti is under investigation over contributions for his election campaign, the purchase of a new building to house Rome's provincial government and a tender for the Lazio region. The Capital Mafia gang was allegedly led by former rightist terrorist and ex-gangster Massimo Carminati and Buzzi, who boasted on a wiretap that they could make more money on migrant and Roma camps than on drugs.