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DECEMBER 8, 2003

Meanwhile in Potenza, Italy

An investigation in the Italian backwater of Potenza could lead to interesting times if a local magistrate by the unlikely name of John Henry Woodcock, gets his way. Woodcock is the district attorney of Potenza, 100 miles to the east of Naples, and has named 76 people who he alleges have been involved in bribery, including a number of Italian celebrities.

In Italy the investigation is being seen as the new Tangentopoli, a corruption scandal which hit the country in 1992, beginning what was known as the Clean Hands investigation.

A list of the 76 people named by Woodcock have been published in a variety of Italian newspapers and include the boss of a soccer club, a singer, a former Italian ambassador to the European Union, a Formula 1 team manager, various politicians, a number of businessmen and another magistrate.