World Bulletin/News Desk
The governor of Italy's Lombardy region, an ally of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, denied on Saturday a media report that he is under investigation in a probe over alleged bribes paid by a private health group to obtain favourable contracts.
Milan-based daily Corriere della Sera said in its Saturday edition that Roberto Formigoni, the governor of Italy's wealthiest region, had been placed under investigation amid allegations that a private company running some of the region's clinics contributed 500,000 euros to his 2010 election campaign.
Formigoni told a news conference the Corriere report that he was under investigation was "groundless" and that he had received no notification of a probe against him by magistrates.
"I am not aware of this investigation," he said, adding he would not resign even if the reports were confirmed.
"I am saying with certainty that the news in Corriere is false."
It was not immediately possible to independently verify the report.
Six people have been arrested in the corruption case, including a businessman who, according to prosecutors, paid for Formigoni's holidays. Formigoni, a prominent member of Berlusconi's PDL party, denies any wrongdoing.
The Lombardy corruption probe is the latest in a string of scandals that have hit Italy's main political parties in the past few months, driving public confidence in politicians to rock-bottom levels ahead of national elections expected by spring 2013.
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Over 13 lives were lost and properties were also destroyed.
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