A prominent member of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's party said on Monday he was under investigation in a corruption probe into public works contracts that has already implicated one of the premier's top aides.
Denis Verdini, national coordinator of Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, was questioned by magistrates on Monday. He later issued a statement saying he was under investigation and denying any wrongdoing.
"I demonstrated that I have nothing to do with the accusations," Verdini said.
Twenty-eight people, including Guido Bertolaso -- head of the civil protection agency and one of Berlusconi's most respected aides -- are under investigation in the probe.
The investigation focuses on contracts for a number of public works, including the original site of last year's Group of Eight summit. Four people have been arrested.
Bertolaso denies any wrongdoing.
The Civil Protection agency deals mainly with natural disasters and emergencies but is also deployed to organise major state events, including the logistics for the G8 summit last July. Hundreds of millions of euros were spent on preparing the site for the summit in Sardinia but the meeting was abruptly moved to L'Aquila after the quake in what the government said was a show of solidarity with the victims.
ReutersLast Mod: 16 Şubat 2010, 11:54