Aifa scandal: corruption or gifts?

Aifa scandal: corruption or gifts?

Matteo Mantovani admitted: made some gifts but did not corrupt anyone. The interrogations took place yesterday in Rome for yet another black chapter of health, a story of alleged favors to pharmaceutical companies to help them market drugs without the guarantees of the law. Two AIFA employees were involved, the Medicines Agency set up to cancel the blackest period of Pharmacopolises which involved the Single Commission of Medicines and Duilio Poggiolini, and ended up again in a court case.

Matteo Mantovani is a company attorney pharmaceutical and is under investigation for corruption. During yesterday's interrogation by the Public Prosecutor of Rome (responsible for most of the thirty suspects in the territory) and the investigating magistrate of Turin, Sandra Recchione, admitted to having paid Pasqualino Rossi, AIFA representative at the Agency European Medicines (EMEA) the renovation of home windows, furniture and travel for about 20 thousand euros.

Corruption? No, bribery, replies his lawyer. "From some wiretaps, in fact, it seems that the tone used by Rossi in the talks with Mantovani was typical of those who imposed and demanded certain things", specified his lawyer Simone Ciotti explaining that the crime of bribery was looming.

Pasqualino Rossi is representative for Italy of the European Medicines Agency, and is the main suspect in the investigation. Even for him the crime of corruption is assumed. His interrogation lasted five hours: he admitted to having received gifts but he clearly specified that "he had never done anything against the health of citizens and nothing against the public administration".

Rossi admitted travel, the reconstruction of a window, the purchase of a piece of furniture at the expense of the representatives of the pharmaceutical companies contested by the investigators: he considered them, however, - he claims - to be simple gifts. Against him there are numerous interceptions: «I thought they were banalities - it was justified - but I, however, never did things contrary to the duties of the office. I never thought of myself as corrupt. "

In return, he explained to the magistrates, provided information on the state of medical practices ahead of schedule. Rossi said that on behalf of Italy he prepared dossiers which then arrived at the European Commission in charge of establishing in which band the drug should be placed. In the same Commission that was to pronounce on the safety of a product, Rossi did not in any case have the right to vote. "My client - said his lawyer, Alessandro Benedetti - admitted the facts and said he was amazed in a way that they could configure the offense so ridiculous. The overall figure relating to the episodes of corruption attributed to Rossi, in fact, does not exceed twenty thousand euros. An official like him could, if he wanted, make real money in this affair. " At the end of the interrogation, the lawyer asked the investigating magistrate to revoke the precautionary measure or to grant house arrest.