A centre-right candidate in Sunday’s Sicilian regional elections was arrested for buying Mafia votes this Friday.
The candidate, Salvatore Ferrigno, 62, was charged with paying mafiosi to secure votes for himself. A former member of Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI) party, Ferrigno is now on the Autonomist Popular ticket of former Berlusconi aide and Senate Speaker Renato Schifani, who is running to become Sicily governor.
Also arrested were Cosa Nostra boss Giuseppe Lo Duca and an alleged intermediary, Piera Lo Lacono.
Charged with buying Mafia votes with favours and cash
Prosecutors say Ferrigno promised Lo Duca favours and cash in exchange for votes. This has been confirmed, they said, by phone taps dating from the recent past until a few days ago.
The case is part of a wider probe into Palermo Mafia clans.
Two other centre-right candidates, Francesco Lombardo and Pietro Polizzi, were arrested for buying Mafia votes ahead of April’s elections to Palermo city council. They too were charged with promising to back the clan in question in exchange for votes.