Rome

Politician at center of Lazio funds scandal risks 5 years

Franco Fiorito banned from public office

Politician at center of Lazio funds scandal risks 5 years

Rome, May 20 - A Rome prosecutor on Monday requested five years in prison for Franco Fiorito, the former head of Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom Party (PdL) for the central Italian region of Lazio. Fiorito is accused of embezzling 1.4 million euros in party funding, and is at the centre of the corruption scandal that brought down the previous centre-right governor Renata Polverini's regional government late last year. Fiorito agreed in April to return 1.09 million euros to the Lazio regional government. In Monday's sentencing request, the prosecutor also asked that Fiorito be banned for life from public office. Fiorito's sentencing is expected May 27. Fiorito is being tried under a fast-track trial, which allows for sentence reductions in case of conviction. Fiorito's two ex-secretaries, Bruno Galassi and Pierluigi Boschi, have asked to plea bargain their sentences to 16 and 14 months, respectively. They are accused of conspiracy. The scandal sparked by the alleged misappropriation of funds by Fiorito and others led to the resignation of the PdL governor of Lazio, Renata Polverini, late last year. She was replaced in recent elections by Nicola Zingaretti of the centre-left Democratic Party.

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