Looked at in such a context, the revelations that Valter Lavitola, like Benito Mussolini an editor of the old Italian socialist newspaper L'Avanti who threw in his lot with the right, used his position as Silvio Berlusconi's bag man to insinuate himself into the Martinelli administration and engineer overpriced Panamanian government contracts with kickbacks for Martinelli gave voters a reason to continue the tradition of ousting the incumbents.
One of the several crimes for which Lavitola is now serving time in prison is arranging for a €3 million bribe that got Italian Senator Sergio De Gregorio to switch from then Premier Romano Prodi's leftist government to the rightist Berlusconi camp back in 2008, bringing down Prodi and returning Berlusconi to power.
It was even worse for him to use the services of Valter Lavitola
One of the matters up to Italian justice at this moment is to determine when Lavitola
was acting as Berlusconi's agent, when he
was acting on Martinelli's behalf and which Lavitola scams were by and for Valter Lavitola
and nobody else.
In any case, Italian prosecutors say that Lavitola
brokered kickbacks for Martinelli
for a series of contracts with subsidiaries of the Italian state-controlled aerospace and defense conglomerate Finmeccanica
, gifts of various sorts for Martinelli
and people in his entourage in failed bid to land a contract for the Italian company Svemark
to provide Panama with prefabricated prison cells, and a shakedown of Italy's construction giant Impregilo to finance a project that Martinelli
wanted, through a Dominican company that was allegedly to pay Martinelli
is a series of back pages little stories, Lavitola
generally gets mentioned in the Italian press only if some other celebrity is involved and nobody is thinking or reporting about Martinelli
Still, the Finmeccanica trial of Lavitola
and the company's former sales director is underway and the Panamanian government has been made a party to the process.
A drug bust at Rome's Leonardo Da Vinci Airport of "woman in white" Fedrica Gagliardi this past March has led to inquiries about her trips Panama, Brazil and Venezuela - her most noteworthy a visit here in the company of Berlusconi
Meanwhile in Naples, the Impregilo extortion case has expanded into allegations that Lavitola
, Dominican-American businessman Rogelio Oruña and Martinelli
attempted to arrange kickbacks from contractors with the Metro construction project, and in connection other large public works contracts involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.