Milan

Lombardy councillor Magnano questioned by prosecutors

Probes allegedly linked to regional fraud scandal

Lombardy councillor Magnano questioned by prosecutors

Milan, November 30 - Milan prosecutors said on Friday that former Lombardy Regional Councillor Francesco Magnano of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party is under investigation in a probe into party funding. Magnano was called in for questioning Friday by prosecutors for acts allegedly committed while he was in public office regarding the region's finances. Magnano, a trusted consultant for the ex-premier at his private residence, is also known as the 'surveyor of Arcore', Berlusconi's villa near Milan. Probes are reportedly part of broader fraud investigations of three other Lombardy councillors - the Northern League's Davide Boni, the former speaker of the regional assembly, and Franco Nicoli Cristiani and Massimo Buscemi of the (PdL). Lombardy governor Roberto Formigoni, also of the PDL, dissolved his executive council late October after it was hit by a string of corruption probes, including one in which a councillor, Domenico Zambetti, was arrested for buying votes from the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta mafia in the last election. Corruption scandals have discredited centre-right political leaders in Lazio, Lombardy and Sicily, pummeling support in Italy for the PdL and disaffecting voters. Other parties have been less badly hit by scandals of their own.

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