Rome – The embattled mayor of Rome was found guilty on Saturday for having lied about appointing the town hall and ending a months-long legal process that had jeopardized his political career.
Mayor Virginia Raggi embraced her lawyers after the judge read the verdict that no crime had been committed in appointing a municipal tourist officer.
The prosecution alleged that she had lied to anti-corruption officials when she insisted that her choice of official – the brother of her then-top adjutant – was hers alone. The prosecutors claimed that the appointment had been planned by their aide.
"This verdict sweeps away two years of mud," Raggi tweeted. "We continue to head to Rome, my beloved city, and to all citizens."
Raggi always denied the charge. If convicted, she could have been sentenced to 10 months in prison and lost her position as mayor. The rules of the 5-star movement to which it belongs state that any member convicted of a crime can not remain in office even if no appeal is made.
The end of the trial removes an obstacle for the mayor, who is still under pressure because of a general decline in Italy's capital. It ranges from failure to remove garbage from some parts of the city to the collapse of the urban transport system, including a fire in a city center bus and the collapse of an escalator full of Russian football fans.
The Romans are voting this weekend in a non-binding referendum on whether they want a privatization of the transport city of the city.
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