Ex-senator De Gregorio put under house-arrest in Rome

Politician at centre of Berlusconi probe

Ex-senator De Gregorio put under house-arrest in Rome

(see related stories on Berlusconi) Naples, March 15 - Italian financial police notified ex-senator Sergio De Gregorio on Friday that he has been put under house-arrest at his home in Rome. The arrest is for alleged financial crimes related to the newspaper L'Avanti!, which De Gregorio once ran with a wheeler-dealer former associate of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, Walter Lavitola. De Gregorio was informed he faces charges of conspiracy, fraud against the State, money-laundering and extortion. On Monday, De Gregorio confessed to receiving two million euros that he did not declare to the taxman. But he denied that the money was a bribe from Berlusconi to switch sides from the centre-left to the centre-right to destabilize Romano Prodi's 2006-2008 government. Berlusconi is under investigation in relation to the case and Naples prosecutors have requested he be indicted. Lavitola was sent to prison in Naples in April after spending over six months in South America as a fugitive of Italian justice, and on March 4 he received a two-year, eight-month sentence for blackmailing Berlusconi to keep mum about payments to escorts.

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