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Italian Rogue of the Week – Vasco Errani

Yesterday an appeal court decided that the president of the Italian region of Emilia Romagna, one Vasco Errani, was guilty of something known as falso ideologico in Italian. This translates into English as “making an intentionally false statement”.

The intentionally false statement concerned the provision of a cool €1 million in public funding to finance an agricultural cooperative. It just so happens that at the time of the offence the cooperative was headed by the president’s brother Giovanni. A coincidence of a merely nepotistic nature, perhaps? The appeal court did not think so even if initially Errani was not found guilty.

Vasco Errani
Vasco Errani

Errani and a couple of willing colleagues allegedly compiled documents designed to falsely justify the payment of public money to his brother Giovanni.

The Italian newspaper Il Giornale first raised suspicions in 2009 over just how the president’s brother had managed to lay his hands on public money. In its article the paper questioned whether the president’s brother was actually entitled to the funding anyway. The findings of the appeal court suggest he was not.

In a separate but related case, brother Giovanni, the recipient of the funding, is now facing charges of attempting to defraud the Italian region of Emilia Romagna. This also suggests that the funding arrangement was not legitimate.

Older Errani has received a suspended one year sentence for his alleged crime. He continues to protest his innocence and says he will appeal the decision of the appeal court to Italy’s highest court – the Court of Cassation. To his credit, Vasco Errani resigned from his post as president of the Emilia Romagna region soon after the decision of the appeal court was made public.

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While the prosecutor in the Errani case seems certain the non-definitive conviction is sound, Errani’s supporters believe he is the victim of an injustice. The regional president’s lawyer described the guilty finding as ‘disconcerting’.

We shall now have to wait for the reasoning behind the appeal court decision and to see whether or not the cassation court agrees with the guilty finding.

For allegedly arranging €1 million in illicit public funding for his brother, ex-president of the Italian region of Emilia Romgana Vasco Errani receives this week’s title of Italian Rogue of the Week.

In case you were wondering, Vasco Errani is not one of Silvio Berlusconi’s crooked cronies. No, he’s a member of the supposedly much less corrupt centre-left leaning Partito Democratico. The PD has rallied to the support of Mr Errani on the basis that one is innocent until proven guilty in Italy. Proving someone’s guilt or innocence in Italy is an extremely  long and drawn out, and thus, unjust process.

Should Italy’s Court of Cassation decide Errani is not guilty of attempting to fiddle tax payers out of €1 million, his rogue of the week title will be removed.


Vasco Errani photo by Damiano Zoffoli crop: Jaqen This file was derived from: Errani – Zoffoli – Panzavolta – Bersani 2011.jpg

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