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Wife of Ticino judge arrested in deepening corruption probe

Days after the arrest of a former Ticino criminal court judge, Franco Verda, on corruption charges, his wife has been taken into custody, according to regional newspapers.

This content was published on August 8, 2000 - 13:47

Desiree Rinaldi's detention is the latest in a string of arrests ordered by special prosecutor, Luciano Guidici, according to the Ticino papers, "Corriere del Ticino" and "Giornale del Popolo".

Guidici is investigating allegations that Verda colluded with Italian businessman, Gerardo Cuomo, who is suspected of involvement in an international cigarette smuggling and money-laundering ring.

Rinaldi, who married Verda recently, was Cuomo's lawyer. She allegedly introduced the two men to each other. She and Verda were later guests on board Cuomo's luxury yacht during their honeymoon.

Her arrest comes after Verda was taken into custody last Friday. He is accused of accepting bribes and partiality in court, following previous charges that he repeatedly broke confidentiality rules.

Verda is accused of helping Cuomo in a trial concerning 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 disclosed on Sunday that Cuomo's son, Marco Cuomo, has now also been detained in Switzerland. Gerardo Cuomo has been in police custody since May 10, and is waiting for his extradition to Italy.

swissinfo with agencies

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