Berlusconi's ally quits post following sex party, corruption scam

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London, Feb 12 (ANI): Italy's Civil Protection chief Guido Bertolaso was forced to step down from the post after it was revealed he was under the scanner for corrupt contracts scandal, sex parties and bribes surrounding the construction of a 327-million-euro complex in Sardinia, which was to host the G8 summit in 2009.

The Sardinia complex, whose construction was being supervised by Bertolaso, was never used because at the last minute Premier Silvio Berlusconi decided to switch the location of the G8 meeting to the quake-ravaged city of L'Aquila to boost the morale of the locals, and as some opponents claimed, to improve his own poll ratings.

Bertolaso's popularity in the country had surged after he led the rescue mission to L'Aquila last year. However, the incomplete site, which was never used and lies abandoned on the island of La Maddalena just off the Sardinian coast, has now come back to haunt him.

Investigating judges have announced that Bertolaso, 59, was under investigation as part of the inquiry into the way 327m euro in public contracts were given out for the building of G8 facilities on the island.

Bertolaso quit his post immediately after police searched the office of his civil protection department in Rome and handed him a formal notice that he was under investigation.

In a statement released by his office, Bertolaso said he was resigning so that no complications arise for investigators. He denied any wrongdoing and added that he would soon speak to investigating prosecutors, "to give them any information I have", reports the Independent.

Commenting on the issue, Berlusconi said he was "convinced the civil protection chief would be able to clear everything up" and asked him not to quit the post.

Earlier in the week cops had also arrested the head of the state public works office, Angelo Balducci, on corruption charges in connection with the same probe. (ANI)

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