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Court nixes Mafia convict pension appeal

The Sicily Audit Court on Tuesday turned down an appeal against the annulment of his lifetime pension lodged by a former mayor of the town of Canicattì in Agrigento province who was convicted of Mafia association and banned from holding public office for life.
Vincenzo Lo Giudice – a centrist UDC party politician who also served several times as regional councillor – served 11 years and four months for corruption and Mafia association.
He was one of 40 local politicians, businessmen, bankers and architects arrested in 2004 on a range of charges, including corruption, Mafia association, fraud relating to public works contracts, abuse of office and wrongdoing in the management of confiscated Mafia assets.
Lo Giudice was implicated by extensive wire-tapping evidence.
According to investigators, local crime families used threats and violence to influence elections and muster votes for Lo Giudice and other candidates during the general and regional elections in 2001.
The court said convicts with lifetime bans from public office “cannot benefit from stipends, pensions and checks paid by the State or any other public body”.

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