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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Fiat Executives Face Additional Corruption Charges

ROME -- The day after his conviction for covering up a political slush fund, the chairman of Italy's auto giant Fiat was hit with another corruption charge.


A prosecutor investigating kickbacks on construction of the Rome subway asked the court Thursday to try Fiat chairman Cesare Romiti on charges of complicity in corruption.


Prosecutor Francesco Misiani also asked that the Fiat financial director Francesco Paolo Mattioli be tried along with Romiti.


A court in Turin convicted the two Fiat executives Wednesday of doctoring company books to hide a political slush fund.


Romiti received an 18-month suspended sentence and Mattioli was sentenced to 16 months, also suspended. Both men remain in their posts at Fiat while they appeal.


Romiti's lead attorney, Vittorio Chiusano, noted that the court has rejected three previous requests for trial in the subway scandal.


"I don't know if there are new facts ... but if there are, they must be very significant to justify this new request,'' he said.


It is up to judge Adele Rando to either dismiss the charges or order the two Fiat executives to stand trial.


The prosecutor alleges that Fiat officials, including Romiti and Mattioli, authorized political payoffs to get contracts for Fiat's construction subsidiary.


Romiti was the managing director of Turin-based Fiat at the time. Fiat is Italy's largest private company, and it has interests in industry, construction, insurance and publishing.


The subway scandal grew out of the Clean Hands investigations that began in 1992. Clean Hands eventually brought down a generation of political and business leaders.