Caserta

Jailed ex-Berlusconi undersecretary released to house arrest

Cosentino in prison since March for mafia collusion

Jailed ex-Berlusconi undersecretary released to house arrest

Caserta, July 26 - Camorra-linked politician Nicola Cosentino, who had been held in Naples' Secondigliano jail since March, was released to house arrest on Friday, his lawyers told ANSA. In April, an Italian court on Friday rejected an application by lawyers representing 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 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, the former PdL leader in the Campania region around Naples and former party leader there, was 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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