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Rome, March 23 (IANS/AKI) Rome's former conservative mayor Gianni Alemanno on Wednesday attended the opening of his trial in Rome for corruption and illegal party financing.
Alemanno is accused of taking 125,000 euros in bribes from alleged Roman mob leaders Massimo Carminati and Salvatore Buzzi.
He received 75,000 euros of electoral dinners and 40,000 euros for his Nuova Italia foundation as well as 10,000 euros in cash, according to prosecutors.
"Courts exist to mete out justice. I will defend myself in this trial because I want to prove my innocence, even if many judge me already guilty," the 58-year-old Alemanno told reporters outside the court.
The next trial hearing will take place on March 25.
Rome's city council and two consumer associations have asked to form civil plaintiffs in Alemanno's trial.
Carminati and Buzzi are being tried separately with 44 other suspects over the rigging of public works tenders.
A neo-Fascist in his youth, Alemanno was Rome's mayor from 2008 to 2013 and served as agriculture minister in the 2001-06 Conservative government of Silvio Berlusconi. (IANS)