Former Rome mayor in bribery investigation

Probe involves contract for Rome buses

The former mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno is under investigation as part of an enquiry into the alleged bribery of city and regional officials in return for the granting of bus contracts.

Investigators suspect the scandal could involve the payment of up to €600,000 by the Menarini Bus corporation in exchange for contracts to supply the capital's Metropolitane transport system with 45 buses.

Alemanno – who recently resigned from ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's Popolo della Libertà (PdL) in favour of the newly-formed centre-right Officina per l'Italia – said he expects to be cleared of all charges in the probe which got underway months ago.

"From what I gather it is the tail end of an old investigation" he said in a statement on 9 October, adding "I feel calm and I have confidence in the work of the judiciary."

The 15 officials under investigation include Pierfrancesco Guarguaglini, the ex-president of industrial giant Finmeccanica which is part-owned by the Italian government. The Menarini Bus corporation is a division of Finmeccanica, which has been hit with a number of corruption scandals in recent years. In 2011 it was investigated for allegedly making available slush funds with which to bribe politicians. Although then president Guarguaglini maintained his innocence, following government pressure he resigned his position but not before receiving a €4 million-golden handshake.