Camora-linked Cosentino won't stand for election with PdL

Berlusconi man 'won't fight exclusion'

Camora-linked Cosentino won't stand for election with PdL

Naples, January 21 - Camorra-linked former industry undersecretary Nicola Cosentino will not be a candidate in the upcoming elections for ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL), Luigi Cesaro, president of the province of Naples, confirmed Monday. "Cosentino gave up," Cesaro said late Monday afternoon. "It was a painful exclusion," from the PdL electoral lists. Cosentino, a PdL heavyweight in the Campania region around Naples and former party leader there, had reportedly been resisting pressure not to run as part of Berlusconi's efforts to present clean tickets. Cosentino has been indicted for allegedly helping the Casalesi clan of the Camorra invest in a shopping mall near Caserta. Prosecutors allege he was the "national reference point" of the Casalesis, who come from the Campania town he was born in, Casal di Principe. Cosentino denies wrongdoing and Berlusconi has described the case against him as an example of alleged judicial persecution. The Casalesis are the Camorra clan whose death threats have forced anti-mafia writer Roberto Saviano into round-the-clock police protection.

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