February 24, 2011 / 2:22 PM / 7 years ago

Fastweb founder Scaglia freed

* Scaglia freed after year in jail/house arrest

* Denies charges of role in money-laundering scandal

ROME, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Italian telecoms billionaire Silvio Scaglia was freed on Thursday after spending a year in jail and under house arrest on charges concerned with allegations of money-laundering.

Scaglia, who founded Italy’s second biggest telecoms company Fastweb FWB.MI was arrested in February last year after his private jet landed in Rome from the Antilles islands.

One of Italy’s richest men, he was among 56 people sought in a case where prosecutors alleged more than 2 billion euros was laundered via fake international phone service purchases and sales from 2003-2006. He denied the charges.

“I have been released at last after a year spent in prison and under house arrest,” Scaglia said in a statement.

“I have lived abroad for years now and when I learned that an arrest warrant had been issued against me I immediately returned to Italy to turn myself in to the judicial authorities, knowing that I should spend some time in prison before I could clear up my position with regard to the fraud.”

Fastweb and Sparkle, a unit of Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI), were both drawn into the scandal that has sent shockwaves through Italy’s political and industrial circles. They deny any wrongdoing and say they are the damaged parties. (Reporting by Deepa Babington; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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