Rome mayor cleared in trial, averting crisis in her 5-Star party

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© Reuters. Italy's 5-Star Movement rally in Rome© Reuters. Italy’s 5-Star Movement rally in Rome

ROME (Reuters) – An Italian judge on Saturday acquitted Rome mayor Virginia Raggi of false testimony in a trial over a senior job appointment within city hall, averting a crisis in her party, the ruling 5-Star movement.

Raggi was elected mayor in 2016 in a vote that was seen at the time as a major breakthrough for the 5-Star, which has always promoted a squeaky clean image and promised to clean up the corruption-riddled Italian capital.

The 40-year old mayor was accused of lying about her involvement in the nomination of the director of the city’s tourism department, Renato Marra, brother of one of her closest aides.

The code of ethics of the 5-Star says its elected officials have to resign if they are convicted by any court, meaning Raggi would have had to step down if the verdict had gone against her.

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