“Under-the-counter aid to the water in exchange for 50 thousand euros for an old parcel”: this is how Giovanni Pitruzzella ended up under investigation

A heavy name in the investigation that unveiled in Agrigento malfeasance in the management of the water service, in the province with skyrocketing rates and entire neighborhoods that receive water even once every three days, is called a lawyer Giovanni Pitruzzella. He is accused by the Agrigento prosecutor of having helped the president of Girgenti waters, Marco Campione, to pass an increase in tariffs to the Energy and Water Service Authority. All this while Pitruzzella was not a freelancer, but the president of the Competition Authority. In exchange, he would have received previous payments from Girgenti waters that he had been waiting to collect for some time, even if the prosecutors did not find the letters of appointment.

Today Pitruzzella is Advocate General at the European Court of Justice, a goal achieved by sailing well in the seas of politics that matters, largely center-right, and knowing how to move in the palaces of power, the real one. In Sicily, at the time of the Cuffaro government, his firm was one of the most important and there was no large public or para-public company that did not confer a position on the lawyer. Pitruzzella was also a legal advisor to the Lombard government and the Sicilian Regional Assembly. Then the jump to Rome, when the center-right was really powerful and Renato Schifani presided over the Senate, who indicated him at the helm of the Antitrust. But every now and then the Sicilian events and acquaintances force him to return to the past.

As happened in recent days when, with the investigations and arrests requested and obtained by the Agrigento prosecutor led by Luigi Patronaggio, it turns out that the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice is being investigated in this same investigation. According to the magistrates, the interceptions of the president of Girgenti Acque, Marco Campione, would reveal “an activity to protect the water company that Pitruzzella would have held with the president of the Authority for Electricity, Gas and the water service chaired at the time by Guido Bertoni ». This authority had raised more than one doubt about how the rising tariff for the water service in Agrigento and its province had been fixed. A problem for Campione, who thus saw a reduction in the turnover of the company that had managed the water service from the ATO for 30 years: here too with procedures on which the investigators are now raising more than one anomaly.

But Campione knew how to get into the palaces of politics and had good offices with many. Among these the president of Ars Gianfranco Micciché, under investigation for illicit financing received from Campione himself. But also Mpa deputy Roberto Di Mauro, the former president of the Region Angelo Capodicasa or the father of the former minister Angelino Alfano: not investigated, but who would have suggested hiring in Girgenti waters or in the companies of Campione.

Returning to Pitruzzella and the problems with the Energy Authority, the investigators recorded a meeting in Rome, in 2014, at the Antitrust headquarters between Campione, Pitruzzella and Salvatore Gabriele, the former mayor of Pantelleria, an island where for years the lawyer is on vacation. The prosecutors write: “Regarding the outcome of this meeting, we find valuable information when Salvatore Gabriele communicated to Campione that Pitruzzella had met” those of the Authority and next week he will see what they have done, specifying that he has also handed over the documentation “… From the conversation it emerges that Professor Pitruzzella had also passed documents, thus not limiting himself to a mere verbal intervention ». In another dialogue Campione explicitly linked Pitruzzella’s intervention in his favor at the energy authority with the closure of “the affair linked to … the invoice he had made …“:« As if between Campione and Pitruzzella there were some economic issues still standing that had yet to be resolved », the investigators write.

And in fact there was some slope. The prosecutors write: «That same day Pitruzzella issued against Girgenti Acque an invoice of 50 thousand euros for previous work with Girgenti. The invoice was paid by bank transfer of € 42,752.00 made at the Banca San Francesco-Credito Cooperativo di Canicattì on October 20, ie the day before the material receipt of the invoice by Girgenti. Among the documentation acquired by the Judicial Police at the offices of Girgenti spa, no document was found certifying the conferment of the aforementioned professional assignment to the lawyer Pitruzzella, nor a copy of documents produced by the professional in support of the activity carried out in the trial, for which was paid. ‘

In any case, the prosecutors underline that the members of the Antitrust “may not exercise any professional or consultancy activity, under penalty of forfeiture; and that the Authority has “the right to correspond with all public administrations and public law bodies, and to ask them, in addition to news and information, to collaborate in the performance of its functions”. In essence, the President of the Antitrust in office cannot carry out other professional or consultancy activities and, moreover, can request news and information from other administrations, only for the performance of its functions.

According to the Prosecutor of Agrigento, Pitruzzella would also have given “a hand to Campione in acquiring useful information on the sale of shares in Siciliacque (the company that manages the so-called” supra-scope “of water, that is, the large pipelines, dams and purification plants in the Sicily Region)” he would undertake “to lend a hand to Campione in acquiring useful information on a tender for the management of the Integrated Water Service of the Province of Palermo, also through people close to the then mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando”.

Source: L'Espresso – News, inchieste e approfondimenti Espresso by espresso.repubblica.it.

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