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Cicciomessere Roberto, Piro Franco, Petruccioli Claudio, Manisco Lucio, Novelli Diego, Maroni Roberto, rodota' stefano - 23 ottobre 1992
Institution of a parliamentary committee of inquiry on the case of the Atlanta branch of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro and its connections.


on the initiative of parliamentarians Roberto Cicciomessere, Franco Piro, Claudio Petruccioli, Lucio Manisco, Diego Novelli, Marco Boato, Roberto Maroni, Elio Vito, Marco Pannella, Emma Bonino, Marco Taradash, Pio Rapagnà, Stefano Rodotà

ABSTRACT: The unexpected decision of the U.S. judge Marvin H.Shoob, not to convict the head of the Atlanta branch of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, Chris Drogoul, as the sole responsible for the fraud, but to postpone the case to a trial that will need to investigate the responsibilities of the Bank and of the U.S. government, has prompted new investigations that have lead to the discovery of vaster responsibilities of the Italian government in the operation of the financing to Iraq for the purchase of weapons. Hence the need to institute a parliamentary committee of inquiry.


Colleagues! - At the conclusion of its activity during the previous legislature, the parliamentary committee of inquiry on the case of Atlanta branch of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro had expressed a "negative judgment on the structures of the BNL that have added to their direct and indirect responsibilities for the Atlanta affair (both in the hypothesis of negligence and of connivance) the attempt to cover the real mechanism of the bank fraud, which clearly does not match with the hypothesis of the isolated guilt of Chris Drogoul and of his employees. Such hypothesis has been, against all evidence, passively accepted and endorsed by the BNL in that was instrumental in a easy line of trial defence, which has in time revealed a series of contraindications". The Committee, therefore, questioned the "theorem" of the "solitary" fraud enacted by the director of the BNL Atlanta branch, Chris Drogoul, with regard to the Bank and to the U.S. and Italian governmental authorities themselves, which the court of Atlanta

also seemed bound to. The unexpected decision of Judge Marvin H.Shoob, not to convict Drogoul as the sole responsible for the fraud, but to postpone the case to a trial that will need to investigate the responsibilities of the Bank and of the U.S. government, has prompted new inquiries, which have in particular enabled to acquire the following new elements of judgment:

1) During a hearing before the U.S. Senate, the CIA confirmed that it manipulated the information given to the judicial authorities, and in particular that it concealed the reports sent already in 1989 from Rome, where it said that the top management of the Rome head office of the BNL knew about the business managed by Chris Drogoul;

2) The Ministry of Justice of Washington, as a result of pressure enacted by the Italian government, allegedly urged the CIA not to give the reports in its possession to the judicial authorities. In particular, the Italian ambassador Rinaldo Petrignani supposedly operated in such a way as to avoid the implication of the BNL in the proceedings;

3) The CIA did not operate autonomously to guarantee the loans to Iraq, but urged by the governments of the United States and of Italy.

These new elements call for the continuation of the work started by the previous committee of inquiry, in order to ascertain whether the central structures of the BNL are implicated in the fraud involving the Atlanta branch of the BNL, whether there have been initiatives on the part of the Italian government to grant Iraq the loans for the acquisition of armaments, and whether the Italian government has used pressure so as to avoid CIA documents from being forwarded to the U.S. judicial authorities.

Moreover, the Committee will also have to judge whether the affair regarding the sale to Iraq of an entire fleet on the part of the Fincantieri and of the Oto Melara, and the payment of the corresponding mediation commissions, which the judicial authority of Genua is dealing with for certain aspects, forms part of the same scheme that lead to the fraud of the Atlanta branch of the BNL.


Art. 1

1. In conformity with article 82 of the Constitution, a parliamentary committee of inquiry is instituted on the case of the Atlanta branch of the BNL and on its connections.

2. The Committee is formed by twenty members of Parliament, appointed by the President of the Chamber of Deputies, in such a way as to respect the criterion of proportionality among the parliamentary groups, and in any case guaranteeing the presence of one representative for each group.

3. The President of the Chamber appoints a president of the Committee, choosing among the members of parliament, and summons the same in order to elect two vice presidents and one secretary.

Art. 2

1. The task of the Committee is to ascertain the direct and indirect responsibilities, or in any case responsibilities related to the administration of the Atlanta branch of the Banca Nazionale del lavoro and to the facts connected to it and ensuing from it.

2. In particular, the Committee will ascertain:

a) whether the Italian government or other governments have taken initiatives to urge the BNL to grant relevant loans to Iraq through its Atlanta branch;

b) the sequel of the events, the nature of the operations, and the procedures that lead to the BNL's strong exposure toward third parties;

c) the Italian and foreign enterprises that have received financing or guarantees for operations toward Iraq, and the goods and the financial movements concerned;

d) the state of efficiency of the global system of the bank controls in the affair of the Atlanta branch of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, also in order to provide elements for future laws;

e) whether there are elements of contradiction or distortion in the aforementioned affair, enacted by public or private subjects with regard to the policy of the Italian government in its relations with other States and namely with Iraq, also with specific reference to the traffic of material for military or strategic use;

f) whether the sale to Iraq on the part of Italian industries of a fleet, and the authorization to pay large mediation commissions forms part of the same scheme that lead to the fraud of the Atlanta branch of the BNL;

g) whether Italian public subjects have intervened on the U.S. administration with the purpose of preventing the discovery of wider and more general responsibilities during the penal proceedings against Chris Drogoul.

Art. 3

1. The persons heard by the Committee are in all respects comparable to the witnesses in penal proceedings.

2. The President of the Committee may request, for the performance of the tasks of the Committee itself, the cooperation of the judiciary police, and may acquire the records relative to investigations carried out by other administrative authorities, including foreign ones. Moreover, it may request papers, documents and information to the judiciary authority, and obtain them within the limits of the competences and prerogatives of the latter.

Art. 4

1. The Committee may request any cooperation it deems necessary.

2. The expenses for the functioning of the Committee are covered by the internal budget of the Chamber of Deputies.

Art. 5

1. The sessions of the Committee are public, unless the Committee itself decides otherwise.

2. The activity and the functioning of the Committee are regulated by internal rules passed by the Committee itself before the beginning of the proceedings. Each member may suggest to change the rules.

Art. 6

1. The Committee must complete its proceedings within six months from its institution. Within the following sixty days it will forward a report to the Chamber of Deputies, as well as the records of the sessions and the documents and papers used, unless the Committee decides otherwise for some of these, in relation to the requirements of the ongoing penal proceedings.

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