Agrigento

Ex-mayor of Lampedusa sentenced for corruption

De Rubeis banned from serving office

Ex-mayor of Lampedusa sentenced for corruption

Agrigento, July 24 - An Agrigento court on Wednesday sentenced Lampedusa's ex-mayor, Bernardino De Rubeis, to five years and three months in prison for corruption, bribery and abuse of office. De Rubeis is also banned from serving in public office. Former city manager Salvatore Caffo and another city official Alfonso Averna were given suspended sentences of one year and one month in prison each. Former city councilor Santino Brischetto was acquitted. The ruling came after about three hours of deliberation. The plantiffs will also be required to pay damages the Italian environmental organization Legambiente. The investigation dates back to 2009 and involves bribes exchanged for the illegal disposal of waste and extortion to obtain payments. The island of Lampedusa off the Sicilian coast is frequently in the news as a landing point for immigrants crossing from North Africa to reach the Italian shores. Pope Francis chose Lampedusa, closer to Africa than Italy, as his first trip away from the Rome area as pontiff to focus attention on the many asylum seekers who die trying to cross the Mediterranean.

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