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Monday, 20 May 2019

Rome's embattled mayor cleared in city hall job trial

AFP , Saturday 10 Nov 2018
Virginia Raggi
File Photo: Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi. (AP)
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An Italian court on Saturday cleared Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi in a trial that could have cost her her job.

Raggi, a member of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement who became the city's first female mayor two years ago, was acquitted of corrupt practices over a senior appointment at city hall.

"This verdict has swept away two years of mud," said Raggi, who burst into tears when her acquittal was announced.

Prosecutors had sought a 10-month jail term against the 40-year-old and if convicted she would have been forced to resign.

She had been accused of making false statements over the appointment of Renato Marra as her tourism director.

Prosecutors claimed it was Renato's brother Raffaele -- Raggi's former right-hand man -- who got his sibling the job.

Raggi became mayor in 2016 after both the traditional left and right-wing parties were seen to have failed to get to grips with a city drowning in debt and rocked by corruption scandals.

But she has struggled to build a team or fix the problems she inherited and her popularity has plummeted.

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