Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini finds himself at the center of an illegal financing scandal of his party “The League”, whose original funds, 150,000 euros in cash, come this time from Morocco. The facts were revealed by the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano. The Moroccan side is reported to have filed a lawsuit.
On charges of alleged Russian funding of the Italian political party The League, led by the Deputy Prime Minister, the Italian press reveals a new case that would involve Morocco this time. Matteo Salvini and his close collaborator Gianluca Savoini would be directly involved. A source close to Mohamed Khabbachi, the Moroccan intermediary cited by the Italian press in this presumed case, denied the allegations and announced a lawsuit.
The load of Il Fatto Quotidiano
On Wednesday 31 July, the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano reported, citing unnamed sources, that before the alleged meeting of the Metropol in Moscow, Gianluca Savoini, former spokesman and confidant of Matteo Salvini, met in Paris Mohamed Khabbachi, former director general of the Moroccan official news agency Maghreb Arabe Presse (MAP).
According to the same source, emissaries of The League, including Matteo Salvini and Gianluca Savoini, went to Morocco in October 2015 to prepare the meeting in Paris. During their trip, they met with Ilyas El Omari, Vice President of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), and Driss El Yazami, President of the National Council for Human Rights and the Council of the Moroccan Community at the foreign.
In a statement to media, a member of the Mohamed Khabbachi family categorically refutes the allegations peddled by the Italian newspaper.
“There is a debate and problems between a number of political parties in Italy. I know that some are trying to bring down Salvini by targeting his entourage,” he said. “Salvini and Savoini did go to Morocco, but it was not Mohamed Khabbachi who brought them to the kingdom,” he added.
The same interlocutor announced that a lawyer had been appointed by the former director general of MAP. “The lawyer plans to file a complaint tomorrow,” he concluded.
The reactions of the concerned
Neither the Moroccan authorities nor the Italian officials directly involved in these revelations have yet reacted.
However, accused in a recent BuzzFeed News publication of receiving funds from Russia, Matteo Salvini defended himself, denying any Russian funding for his The League movement.
Salvini also stated on Facebook that he was only bringing Russian dolls and Masha and the Bear [Russian animated series] for his daughter from Moscow, adding that anyone who says otherwise is lying. The Deputy Prime Minister has promised to sue anyone who accuses him of trying to receive funds from Russia, adding that he has a clear conscience.