First Communist Official Arrested Is Released From Jail
MILAN, Italy (AP) _ Primo Greganti, the first Communist official arrested in Italy’s political corruption scandal, has been released after three months in prison.
Milan judges reported that Greganti was set free Monday night when the term of preventive detention expired. He is still under investigation in connection with a Swiss bank account in his name.
Greganti’s arrest was an embarrassment to the former Communist Party, which tried to project an image of honesty in an otherwise scandal-ridden political scene. Other former Communists have since been picked up.
Prosecutors who have arrested hundreds of leading politicians and businessmen on corruption charges have suggested that the account of about $400,000 in Switzerland was used for kickback payments to the former Communist Party, now called the Democratic Party of the Left.
Greganti has repeatedly denied the allegation, claiming he had received the money for his work as a business consultant.
There has been no letup in the 15-month-long scandal that mainly involves kickbacks to parties for lucrative public works contracts.
Authorities Tuesday issued 16 arrest warrants in Rome in connection with the building of a subway line and 13 warrants in Catania, Sicily, regarding an alleged $4 million kickback for a contract to build a trade fair center, news reports said.