Anti-corruption politician gets threat letter in ancient Greek
BARI – Austacio Busto, a politician battling corruption in southern Italy, received an uncommon threatening letter written in ancient Greek on Saturday.
It is being hailed as the one of the most educated messages of its kind. It even contains passages from the 5th century Greek tragedy Agamemnon by Aeschylus, that reference "ill omened hymns to terrible fortune."
Councillor Busto is from the small town of Acquaviva delle Fonti and runs the department for public tendering.
In 2015 he denounced a local corruption scandal, triggering an investigation that in July 2017 led to 12 arrests, including the mayor of Altamura, Giacinto Forte.
The threatening letter was written by hand on a white sheet of paper and delivered in a white envelope. The handwritten message has been submitted to a calligraphic expert. The carabinieri of Gioia del Colle are also closely following the case.
The menacing letter was immediately linked to the fact that on April 18, Mr. Busto will be called to testify in one of the trials born of the investigation he instigated. It is also not the only threatening message he’s received in recent months.
According to an article published by La Repubblica, Austacio has not had second thoughts or changed his mind about the testimony he will shortly be giving at the trial.
In 2015, Mr. Busto received a 5,000 euros bribe from a businessman in exchange for a contract bid for the municipal theatre of Altamura. The councillor told the mayor Carlucci what had happened and together they reported it to the carabinieri.
The offer came from two entrepreneurs, Salvatore Fatigati, who runs Apulia Srl, and Tomaso Procino, who were later accused of instigating corruption along with various other municipal technicians and technical designers.
Busto also refused a 2 thousand euros bribe, which was then increased to 15 thousand euros, by Albanian entrepreneur, Bertin Sallaku, who runs Besa Costruzioni Srl. This was also related to a contract bid for a wastewater refining plant.