Categories: Panama

Panama-Italy and sex-party fixer to trial

Lavitola and Berlusconi, executor and capo

VALTER LAVÍTOLA  the  Italian dealmaker who once acted as the link man between the Martinelli administration and  Italian companies seeking Panama government contracts is heading back to court with his former mentor  Silvio Berlusconi.

Prosecutors of the court of Bari (southern Italy) Eugenia Pontassuglia and Pasquale Drago have asked for the two to be sent to trial for allegedly having bribed Italian businessman Gianpaolo Tarantini in exchange for his silence on the procurement of young women for the bunga-bunga parties of the ageing Berlusconi.

According to the prosecutors, Tarantini would have received more than $500,000 paid from Berlusconi’s pocket,  to not reveal that the women who participated in the evening invitations to parties that the former prime minister celebrated in  his residences were prostitutes.

The crime for which they are accused is an inducement to lie before the courts.

The appearance of the couple  is not new for Italian prosecutors, who have been for years investigating the relationship between Berlusconi and Lavítola, capo and executor, respectively.

According to justice in several convictions. Lavitola served as a channel of corruption for Berlusconi, both inside and outside Italy.

Criminal scenarios range from the paying   off  Italian parliamentarians who brought down the Government of Romano Prodi in 2008, to the attempt to divert up to $22 million in bribes in Panama linked to the frustrated construction of the Veraguas pediatric hospital, to benefit former President Ricardo Martinelli. In this case, Lavitola was sentenced in Italy to 3 years’ imprisonment.

n another case directly related to Panama,  Lavítola is pending judgment in the court of Naples.related to the  alleged diversion attempt of $20 million in the frustrated construction of four modular prisons in Panama, by the Italian consortium Svemark.

Meanwhile, the Finmeccanica case was left untried in the court of Rome by a law approved by the Berlusconi government in 2006 that shortened the time for prosecution in corruption offenses.

The evidence in the hands of magistrates suggests that Agafia Corp. was founded to receive a bribe of 25 million euros from the contract with Finmeccanica again intended for Martinelli. But responsibilities can never be settled.

All of this is happening  while in Panama it is a crucial time for the validation of Bill 514, covering corruption-related  offenses, reports La Prensa

David Young :