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Ticino corruption case: two more arrests

Former Ticinese criminal court judge, Franco Verda, is facing new corruption charges Keystone

A corruption case in the Swiss canton of Ticino, dubbed by one newspaper "Ticinogate", has led to two more arrests. Those detained were the former senior criminal court judge, Franco Verda, and the son of an Italian businessman.

This content was published on August 6, 2000 - 08:05

The special prosecutor, Luciano Guidici, ordered Verda's arrest on Friday after 10 hours of questioning.

Verda stands accused of accepting bribes and partiality in court, following previous charges that he repeatedly broke confidentiality rules.

His arrest is the result of his association with the Italian businessman, Gerardo Cuomo, who has allegedly been involved in an international cigarette smuggling and money-laundering ring.

Verda was accused of helping Cuomo in a trial surrounding confiscated money belonging to the Mafia boss and associate, Francesco Prudentino. Verda allegedly forewarned Cuomo about the outcome of the court case. The telephone calls were tapped by Italian police.

Swiss media also disclosed on Sunday that Cuomo's son, Marco Cuomo, has now also been detained in Switzerland. Gerardo Cuomo has been in police custody in Zurich since May 10 and is waiting for his extradition to Italy.

The alleged relationship between Verda and Gerardo Cuomo was established via Verda's former girlfriend and now wife who had been Cuomo's lawyer in canton Ticino. Verda and his wife were later guests on board Cuomo's luxury yacht during their honeymoon.

swissinfo with agencies

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