House arrest filed for ex-Berluconi councilor in BPM case

'Lender approved loans, even for people with mafia links'

House arrest filed for ex-Berluconi councilor in BPM case

Milan, February 6 - Police in Milan filed a house-arrest notice Wednesday for former Lombardy councilor Onofrio Amoruso Battista in connection to a bribery probe into lender Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM). The offices of BPM were also searched. Amoruso Battista served as a regional councilor for the center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi. Last May, former BPM chairman Massimo Ponzellini was put under house arrest for allegations of accepting bribes from gambling company BPlus in exchange for guaranteed financing. Investigators said Wednesday that under Ponzellini the bank "sold problematic loan agreements" without hesitating "even to prevent financing people with ties to organized crime". Marco Milanese, an MP for Berlusconi's PdL party and a consultant for ex-economy minister Giulio Tremonti, was placed under investigation last year in relation to the case.

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