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Do ut Des: Equal Opportunity Corruption

Nov
16
2006

You’ve got to hand it to Italian police, who not only studied Latin in high school but remember it: do ut des (lit.: “I give so that you give”) is the catchy name they gave to an investigation of a corrupt judge.
Now, this isn’t just any bribe-taking judge. This is a middle-aged female judge who hails from the upstanding Veneto region, sort of like saying elegant, waspy Martha Stewart is guilty of insider trading. Oh, wait. Anyway, it’s the shock factor that counts.


Patrizia Serena Pasquin, 52, in some old TV footage that has been making the rounds, is an ordinary-looking woman with tousled short hair, large gold earrings and a somewhat harried expression. For nearly 25 years, she presided over a civil court in Vibo Valentia, just about the big toe of Italy’s boot, where she allegedly got mixed up with local ‘Ndrangheta mobsters.
Details provided by cops are absolutely delicious. What did she get by fixing trials? Well, in part, what any overworked woman who also has to run a household wants: someone else to do the shopping.
Mafia bosses were provided with grocery lists that included: fresh fish, cans of Coke, various types of pasta, cheese and prosciutto. Concerned about her son studying far away in Turin, she had the mobsters send him care packages by courier, too. (Italian only, here).
After something like 100,000 phone taps, a team of 150 investigators brought down Pasquin, 60 bosses and members of the Mancuso gang plus another 33 local businessmen.
Interestingly enough, Pasquin has decided not to take the Italian legal equivalent of the fifth and recently spent eight hours being interrogated in court by colleagues. Maybe she’ll end up making the best of it, like Martha. Perhaps a signature line of inexpensive frozen pasta dishes?

Share  Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 1:51 PM | Permalink

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