Santa Maria Capua Vetere (Case

Cosentino 2nd release petition fails

Charged with corruption and illicit re-use of capital

Cosentino 2nd release petition fails

Santa Maria Capua Vetere (Caserta), March 4 - A second application revoking an arrest warrant for Camorra-linked politician Nicola Cosentino was rejected by the local courts Tuesday. Cosentino's first application was turned down Monday. Cosentino, a former industry undersecretary for ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, will remain in jail, accused of collusion with the Neapolitan mafia for alleged links with the Casalesi clan. On the first count, rejected Monday, Cosentino was indicted for allegedly helping the Casalesis invest in a shopping mall near Caserta northwest of Naples. On the second count, rejected Tuesday, he was accused of corruption and re-using illicit capital. Cosentino, who is a PdL heavyweight in the Campania region around Naples and former party leader there, did not run in last week's general election after Berlusconi said he "regretfully" was forced to drop him. Prosecutors have alleged that Cosentino 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, author of the 2006 bestseller Gomorrah, into round-the-clock police protection.

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