President of Liguria Region arrested on corruption charges

From left to right: Matteo Cozzani and Giovanni Toti

  ROME -- The president of the Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti, has been arrested on charges of corruption and placed under house arrest as part of an investigation from the Genoese Anti-Mafia District Administration, and the Guardia di Finanza. According to sources from the Guardia di Finanza, Toti is staying in their barracks in Lungomare Canepa in Genoa, accompanied by his lawyer Stefano Savi. 

  The governor, who was due to attend a press conference on Tuesday morning, was instead intercepted by officials from the Guardia di Finanza at a hotel in Sanremo. The Guardia di Finanza have also undertaken searches and acquistions in Toti’s Genoese apartment under Toti’s watch, in addition to the offices of the Regional Council, located on Via Fieschi. 

   “I have spoken with the governor; my client is calm and counts on explaining everything.” Savi, Toti’s lawyer explained, “Toti will continue to work. As we have been able to see so far, these are all facts that can be explained within the framework of legitimate administration for the public interest.”

   Matteo Cozzani, head of the cabinet and Toti’s right-hand man has also been placed under house arrest, on charges of electoral corruption under article 416-bis.1 of the Italian criminal code. According to the prosecution, Cozzani favoured the Cammarata di Riesi clan in Genoa's polls. Specifically, he is accused of promising jobs and better housing to the Riesi community in exchange for their votes for “Change with Toti as president” and for Stefano Anzalone, who is also under investigation.

  Genoese terminal operator, Aldo Spinelli, also received the same measure. His son, Roberto Spinelli, entrepreneur in the logistics and real estate sector, is now subject to a temporary ban on business and professional activities on charges of corruption. Toti is accused of having accepted promises of funding from Aldo and Roberto Spinelli, as well as a total of 74,100 euros in return for several commitments. 

  “The Parliamentary Anti-Mafia Commission has requested the records of all ongoing proceedings regarding the political figures.” Says Chiara Colosimo, chairman of the anti-mafia commission, “We do so as soon as the Public Prosecutor’s Office acts, because what we must do is send a clear and distinct message, there can be no hesitations on such issues, we will do our work cooperating with or supporting that of the Public Prosecutor’s Office.”