ROME, July 16. /TASS/. The main suspect in the case of the alleged financing of Italy’s Lega party by Russia, head of the Lombardy-Russia Association Gianluca Savoini will testify when the investigation presents all the case materials, his lawyer Lara Pellegrini said.
"So far, we are talking about a journalist investigation which is being verified by the prosecution. When the investigation presents all its materials and gives us the opportunity to get acquainted with them, we will testify," the ANSA news agency quotes Pellegrini as saying.
Milan’s prosecution launched a case based on the publications on the US BuzzFeed website and in the Italian L’Espresso weekly news magazine shedding light on the financing Lega was allegedly receiving from Russia, qualifying the case as international corruption. The main suspect in the case is one the associates of Italy’s Deputy PM Matteo Salvini, head of the Lombardy-Russia Association Gianluca Savoini. According to the prosecution, his voice can be heard on the BuzzFeed audio recording of an alleged conversation with Russian entrepreneurs with ties to the Kremlin, during which a possible oil supply contract was discussed. The party could have received the deal dividends amounting to $65 mln.
Both Salvini and Savoini have denied the allegations.
Savoini was present at the state dinner organized by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on the occasion of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Rome. Conte said on Friday that he personally is not acquainted with Savoini and that he had invited all participants of the Russia-Italy Business Forum, which took place on the day of Putin’s visit.
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented earlier that the allegations were not backed by any proof.