The Big Scrub

Operation Clean Hands is rocking Italy's political foundations

NOT ONLY WAS CLAUDIO MARTELLI ITALY'S MINISter of Justice, he was also one of the last hopes as a leader who might restore respect to the Italian Socialist Party, badly weakened by an 18-month investigation of corruption and kickbacks known as Operation Clean Hands. That hope vanished when Martelli learned that he too has been fingered in the probe. Though he insists he is innocent, Martelli resigned from both the Cabinet and the party. When the Socialists met to choose a successor to disgraced leader Bettino Craxi, charged with six counts of corruption, they turned instead to Giorgio Benvenuto, 55, a...

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