Cosentino, ex-Berlusconi undersecretary, to stay in jail

PdL heavyweight in custody on suspicion of Camorra collusion

Cosentino, ex-Berlusconi undersecretary, to stay in jail

Caserta, April 19 - An Italian court of review on Friday rejected an application by lawyers representing Camorra-linked politician Nicola Cosentino to revoke two detention orders against him. Cosentino, a former industry undersecretary for ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, was arrested on March 15 and is being held in Secondigliano jail in Naples on suspicion of collusion with the Neapolitan mafia for alleged links with the powerful Casalesi clan whose death threats have forced anti-mafia writer Roberto Saviano into 24-hour police protection. Prosecutors say Cosentino, a PdL heavyweight in the Campania region around Naples and former party leader there, is the "national reference point" of the Casalesis, who come from his native Casal di Principe. Cosentino denies wrongdoing and Berlusconi has described the case against him as an example of alleged judicial persecution. However he did drop him from party lists in the February general elections amid concerns over a possible political backlash.

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