Former PdL leader in Lazio region released to house arrest

Fiorito faces charges of embezzling 1.3 million euros

Former PdL leader in Lazio region released to house arrest

Rome, December 27 - The former caucus leader of Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party in Lazio region, Franco Fiorito, was released from jail and placed under house arrest on Thursday as he awaits trial on charges of embezzlement and inappropriate use of electoral funds. Fiorito was arrested on October 2 for allegedly pocketing over 1.3 million euros in State-subsidized party funds. Fiorito's arrest came amidst a swirl of political scandals and criminal charges across the political spectrum but especially involving the PdL. Proceedings against Fiorito, who headed the PdL in Lazio region, where the capital city of Rome is located, are scheduled to begin March 19. Similar charges have also been laid against Fiorito's former chief secretary Bruno Galassi and Pier Luigi Boschi. Fiorito was released on house arrest because there seemed little risk that he would repeat any offence, the court said. That contradicts a ruling earlier in December, when Italy's highest appeals court said that Fiorito must stay in jail because he had been caught destroying evidence.

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