Italy’s Lombardy region denies allegations of fraud over COVID-19 medical gear

FILE PHOTO: Head of Italy’s Lombardy region in isolation after aide gets coronavirus

MILAN: The governor of Lombardy, the Italian region hardest hit by the coronavirus, denied wrongdoing on Saturday (Jul 25) after he was placed under investigation for suspected fraud over a supply of medical equipment from a company owned by his brother-in-law.

Magistrates are investigating Attilio Fontana, 68, a member of the right-wing League party, over a 250,000 euro payment to the company, in which Fontana’s wife has a 10per cent stake, Fontana’s lawyer Jacopo Pensa confirmed on Saturday.

Pensa told reporters Fontana denied wrongdoing.

The Lombardy region had ordered 75,000 surgical gowns and 7,000 sanitising kits from the company in a contract worth about 500,000 in April. The company later decided to donate a first batch of 50,000 gowns instead of taking money for them.

Fontana then ordered a bank transfer of 250,000 euros from his own private account in Switzerland to his brother-in-law. The payment was blocked by one of the banks, which notified financial police.

Pensa said Fontana wanted to compensate his brother-in-law for the loss of profit he suffered by converting the purchase into a donation.

League leader Matteo Salvini, a former interior minister, defended Fontana, saying the magistrates were politically motivated. Opposition parties called on Fontana to resign.

About half of Italy’s 35,000 deaths due to the coronavirus have been in Lombardy, Italy’s northern industrial and financial heartland.

Z24 News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

North Korea convenes emergency meeting after suspected COVID-19 case reported

Sat Jul 25 , 2020
SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un convened an emergency politburo meeting after a person suspected of having COVID-19 returned from South Korea after illegally crossing the border this month, state media said on Sunday (Jul 26). If confirmed, it would be the first case officially acknowledged by North Korean […]

Share

Social menu is not set. You need to create menu and assign it to Social Menu on Menu Settings.