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Ticinogate legal adviser freed

A legal adviser to canton Ticino's department of education has been released after nearly a month in preventive custody. Alberto Zoppi had been arrested on August 24 in conjunction with the corruption scandal known as Ticinogate.

Zoppi was arraigned on suspicion of fraud, extortion, and false accusations, and was immediately suspended from his duties at the department of education.

He was freed on Friday, after being interrogated at length by the State Prosecutor, Luca Marcellini. Zoppi reportedly collaborated with the authorities in their investigation into the way residence permits were granted to the alleged drug trafficker, Gerardo Cuomo.

Zoppi is said to have admitted carrying out functions that were beyond his mandate. He is also alleged to have written anonymous letters relating to the Cuomo case to the Federal Police Office and to a Ticino parliamentarian.

A lawyer who was arrested at the same time on the grounds of implications in the residence permit affair, Francesco Moretti, remains in police custody. He stands accused of blackmail, money laundering, corruption and fraud.

More than SFr10 million in cash and numerous documents were seized from Moretti’s office. The documents appeared to prove there had been a long-standing collaboration between the lawyer and the legal advisor.

The two men were involved in Cuomo’s appeal against the suspension of his residence permit in Ticino.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR