Rome mayor's right hand man held in graft inquiry

World | 16 Dec 2016 7:04 pm

Police arrested a key adviser to Rome's mayor in a corruption investigation, dealing yet another blow to the populist 5-Star Movement's highest-profile officeholder. 

Raffaele Marra, the head of personnel in City Hall and considered Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi's right-hand man, was arrested in an investigation of business deals dating from 2013 when Marra worked for a previous administration. 

The arrest came a day after police searched City Hall and seized records about disputed city appointments, and follows the resignation of Raggi's top environmental adviser, who is the subject of a separate investigation. 

The setbacks renewed pressure on Raggi's administration. She is the top office-holder of the populist 5-Star Movement, which has been pressing for new parliamentary elections following the political crisis that forced the formation of a new government. 

Meanwhile in Milan, Mayor Giuseppe Sala has announced he will step aside after he reportedly was added as a suspect to an ongoing investigation into contracts for the Expo 2015 world's fair, which he ran before his election. Sala said in a statement late Thursday that he was notified only by the media that he had been placed under investigation and that he was unaware of the allegations against him.-AP

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