Italian journalist, 12 others held in graft probe

Milan, March 12 (IANS/AKI) A former newspaper editor was among 13 people arrested Tuesday in a corruption investigation in Italy.

Leonardo Boriani, former editor of La Padania newspaper of the Northern League party, and former Lombardy regional councillor Massimo Guarischi were among the prominent people arrested in 50 raids in Italy and Switzerland.

Officials raided homes, firms and regional health service buildings in Lombardy in the probe being headed by anti-mafia prosecutors in Milan.

The suspects allegedly accepted bribes from companies, and awarded tenders to supply specialist medical equipment to several major hospitals in Lombardy region, according to prosecutors.

They say Boriani acted as an intermediary, putting owners of the medical equipment companies in contact with the relevant hospital officials.

Guarischi was allegedly paid a bribe of 85,000 euros by a company supplying equipment to hospitals.

Prosecutors say he spent the money on a safari in South Africa and a vacation in Croatia for Lombardy’s former governor, Roberto Formigoni.

–IANS/AKI

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IANS