Stefano Mauri was cleared of sporting fraud, but the prosecutor insists “the proof is concrete and it’ll go differently in the civil court.”
This Calcioscommesse scandal first broke as a civil case and only later involved the sporting authorities, as Lazio captain Mauri and several others were arrested in dawn raids and kept in custody for days.
After months of interviews and investigations, this week the Disciplinary Commission ruled Mauri was not guilty of sporting fraud, instead only of failing to alert the authorities to a potential fix. He was banned for six months.
“Once all this is over, everyone will take their share of the responsibility,” public prosecutor Stefano Di Martino told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“That’s starting from whoever decided the evidence for sporting fraud was insufficient, ignoring the arrest warrant issued by a real judge.
“I am confident, as I know that things will go differently in the civil court. As a sportsman I hope the appeal against this ruling will be successful, but I am not optimistic on that front.”
As things stand, Mauri could well find himself cleared of sporting fraud by the Disciplinary Commission, but given a prison sentence for fraud by a civil court.
“Looking back, I would do it all again, including the arrest warrant,” continued Di Martino.
“In these months we gathered other evidence that made his position even more serious, but for obvious reasons I could not provide the Disciplinary Commission with them. In any case, it wasn’t necessary, as the proof of sporting fraud is concrete and the trial will prove that.
“It doesn’t add up. How can you consider Carlo Gervasoni’s confession to be reliable, then not follow any of it up? Ilievski was part of an international organisation whose sole purpose was to corrupt players. He wasn’t in Lecce or Rome for tourism.
“I realised something: the sporting justice system and the civil justice system do not work together. What is the point of the sporting verdict emerging before the actual trial? If Mauri is found guilty of fraud in future, what are we to do then?”
The sporting justice system cannot work at the same pace as the civil courts in Italy, where trials can take several years to reach a verdict, then go into a maze of appeals.
“I can’t understand how certain rulings developed, as the Cristiano Doni side of the betting scandal was dealt with quickly and in a much simpler fashion. These latest trials have gone beyond the civil investigation.
“People like Zamperini testified in front of the Disciplinary Commission, but did not talk to me. They were defending Mauri and at the same time obviously defending themselves too.
“My position on Mauri is made of granite, both for what has already emerged and what will emerge later. I don’t understand how his sporting fraud could be transformed into failing to alert authorities. In Mauri’s case, there is no room for any other conclusion.”
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