Italian Rogue of the Week – Nicola Cosentino

Nicola Cosentino hit the headlines in Italy after this soon to be ex-politician was scrubbed from Silvio Berlusconi’s electoral lists. Cosentino may now end up in a jail cell and he knows it.

Why was Cosentino removed? Quite simply because of very strong suspicions that he has connections to organised crime.

Actually, that Cosentino has links to organised crime is more than a suspicion, it’s a fact: one of his brothers is married to the sister of a Naple’s mafia boss, and the wife of his other brother just happens to be the daughter of another, now deceased, mafia boss.

Cosentino, after one almighty fuss and threatening to ruin Berlusconi’s party, was kicked off Berlusconi’s electoral list. The disgruntled politician then held a press conference in which he attempted to come across as a wounded rabbit. Don’t be deceived though, Cosentino is a rogue.

Cosentino’s name had been mentioned by a couple of mafia turncoats and there are plenty of other question marks hanging over the way this soon to be ex-parliamentarian went about his business.

This is some of what Nicola Cosentino is suspected of:

  • having put pressure on Italy’s constitutional court to approve a law protecting Silvio Berlusconi;
  • supporting the appointment of the chief appeal court judge in Milan. The judge, one Alfonso Marra, was appointed but later resigned when it became clear that his appointment had been “sponsored” by others. Somebody wanted a friendly judge;
  • using a smear campaign to have himself elected as the governor of Italy’s Campania region;
  • involvement in the illicit recycling of toxic waste;
  • awarding wind farm contracts in Sardinia to friends;
  • being part of a shady manipulative organisation known as the new P2 or P3 in Italy;

Promoting Mafia Interests Since the 90s

Magistrates investigating the recycling of toxic waste concluded, after the confession from a mafia criminal, that Cosentino had been deliberately working to further the interests of a mafia crime family – the Casalesi – since the 1990s. Hence the not unreasonable request for Cosentino’s arrest – a request which was rebuffed by Italy’s parliament.

Politicians, generally from the Berlusconi camp, have always claimed Italy’s “communist” magistracy is out to get them for political reasons.

A vote on the arrest came out in Cosentino’s favor and he got to remain in in his comfy seat in parliament, much to the disdain of many in Italy.

Before politicians can be arrested in Italy, parliamentary approval has to be sought. Such approval is by no means automatic. What this means is that dodgy characters like Cosentino remain in positions of power.  The situation does wonders for the credibility of Italy’s rag-tag bunch of politicians, er, not.

The Fight?

According to a Dutch twitter source, Cosentino got into an actual fight with Berlusconi’s number two Angelino Alfano. I have not seen any reports of the fight in Italy’s press though, and do not know of the fisticuffs actually occurred.

The Arrest

Without his parliamentary friends to help him out, it is likely Cosentino will now be arrested.

Cosentino is most unhappy about the situation, but for Berlusconi to have actually kicked him out of his party must mean that Cosentino is a very dodgy character indeed. Too dodgy even for Berlusconi, a man who is no stranger to Italy’s law courts himself.

It may come as something of a surprise that someone like Cosentino even made it into Italy’s parliament – but such cases are commonplace in Italy.

Nicola Cosentino qualifies as Italian Rogue of the Week.

What will Cosentino do next? He may try to leave Italy before he’s arrested, he may decide to reveal what he knows to Italy’s anti-mafia cops and attempt to bring down those who betrayed him. We’ll see.

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