Former Sicindustria president Antonello Montante arrested

Antonello Montante

SICILY – Antonello Montante, the former president of Confindustria’s Sicilian branch, Sicindustria, has been arrested for allegedly committing various criminal offences against the public administration, judicial sources say.

 Montante, who is the current head of the Caltanissetta chamber of commerce and Confindustria’s Retimpresa Servizi department, was arrested on Monday for reportedly setting up an “illegal network” to spy on an investigation that concerned him.

 He is also being charged for various other corruption offences, including intention to corrupt members of the police.

 The inquiry, which has been dubbed “Double Face”, has already led to the arrests of six people, and 22 others are being investigated for corruption and the intention to commit offences against the public administration.

 The former senate speaker of Forza Italia, Renato Schifani, and the former head of the domestic intelligence service AISI, Arturo Esposito, are among those being investigated, along with the AISI department chief, Andrea Cavacece, and the former head of the police’s operational command centre, Andrea Grassi, for being part of a chain of illegal informants.

 Schifani has been accused of passing on “confidential news” about the investigation concerning Montante. The former president of the Senate, however, has denied all charges made against him: “I learn with amazement about the investigation against me concerning my alleged conduct, which is absolutely non-existent.”

 He even denied having any form of friendship or acquaintance with Antonello.

 Mr. Montante has been placed under house arrest after the investigating judge denied the public prosecutors’ request to put him in prison due to lack of evidence for mafia-related crimes.

 Prosecutor Amedeo Bertone, along with his colleagues, Gabriele Paci, Stefano Luciani and Maurizio Bonaccorso, are amongst those accusing the entrepreneur of creating an illegal network to spy on investigations against him.

 This “network” includes politicians, police officers, generals and even a university professor called Angelo Cuva, who is also being investigated.