Corallo strikes back: clean record at two ministries

POSTED: 10/11/12 3:27 PM

GREAT BAY – Atlantis World Group and BPlus owner Francesco Corallo has hit back with a vengeance at publications suggesting that he is a prominent member if the Sicilian mafia and that he was involved in the drugs trade. Corallo, who is on the Interpol wanted-list, sent his statement via his Chief Financial Officer Rudolf Baetsen to the media, accompanied by a letter from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome that states that Corallo has “a clean record at the Ministry of Home affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

The letter is dated August 3 and signed by the Pasquale Terracciano, the cabinet chef of Foreign Affairs Minister Frattini. The letter was forwarded by the Dutch ambassador to Italy Fons Stoelinga to Gerrit Schotte on August 18.

In a press release, Corallo lashes out at the source for the media reports that surfaced this week. ”It does not do justice to the many excellent diplomats in our country when a representative of the diplomatic corps issues reports to Kingdom governments that are based on chicken chatter or talk from imaginary employees of the Italian government.”

Further down in his reaction, Corallo suggests that, at the time the letters were written – so up to at least August 3 – he was an Italian citizen. He signed his statement to the media however explicitly with “Francesco Corallo, Dutch citizen.”

“It would be more just and fair,” Corallo stated, “instead of me denying the news as reported by the various media houses myself, to have the honorable Stoelinga reiterate himself that from official sources such as the Chief of Cabinet of both the Italian Ministry of Interior Affairs and Foreign Affairs, it shows that – then Italian citizen – Francesco Corallo has a clean record with both Ministries.”

Even if one can understand this story in the context of a heated political climate, Corallo continues, “it is however most surprising that media houses report such blatantly false information and such with scrutiny.” (We assume that Corallo meant to state “without scrutiny” – ed.).

Corallo ends his statement saying that he “reserves the right to sue the authors of the publications according to the law.”

The story about the new accusations against Corallo was first published in the Antilliaans Dagblad on Tuesday. The newspaper quoted ambassador Stoelinga who reportedly sent Schotte a letter on May 26 saying that Corallo’s record is not clean at all. The letter from the Italian Foreign Ministry, of which Corallo sent a copy to the media, established now that his record with that ministry and the Ministry of Home Affairs in Italy is clean.

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