Raggi's indictment requested for alleged 'falsehood'

Virginia Raggi. Photo by romatoday.it

ROME - The Rome Prosecutor's Office has requested that the Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, be indicted for an alleged falsehood in a current investigation. A judge is now set to decide whether Raggi should appear in court on charges that she lied about her appointment of the new chief of the city tourism department. In response, Raggi has stated on Facebook that she has “always had great confidence in the judiciary” (sic) and will continue to hold this position.

 Her appointee as the new chief, Renato Marra, is the brother of former personnel chief Raffaele. Raffaele himself was arrested last year on charges of corruption, along with the entrepreneur Sergio Scarpellini. There is some suspicion that Marra may have been given the position through his brother in a nepotistic manner. Raggi’s involvement may have been that she told the head of the Anti-Corruption unit in Rome that the appointment was legitimate.

 The prosecutors also asked to drop another accusation of improper appointment of Salvatore Romeo by Raggi, as there was no evidence of her having committed a crime. As reported in thelocal.it, Raggi celebrated the news by posting on Facebook that “for months the media have been speaking about me as if I was a criminal but now they owe me and the citizens of Rome an apology”. The President of the Democratic Party, Matteo Orfini, appears to have not taken this as an opportunity to denounce Raggi, but has stated that his party “never comment on the choices of the magistrate”.

 Raggi is the city’s first female mayor, and a member of the Five Star Movement (M5S). This party has grown in the last few years into the largest opposition party, and some polls suggest that it may become the largest party in parliament after elections next year. M5S head Beppe Grillo is said to be “very satisfied” that Raggi’s most serious charge has been dropped and that her innocence has been proven on the Romeo case.

 However, Raggi’s administration has been rocked by several scandals, and has faced some criticism. Some believe that little has been done to enhance Rome’s public services, including allegedly failing to repair and remove rubbish from the streets, and improve public transport.