Italian Space Agency Chief Offers To Resign amid Corruption Probe

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PARIS — Italian Space Agency (ASI) President Enrico Saggese on Feb. 7 offered to resign his post “to better defend my integrity, honor and prestige” in the face of an apparently broad corruption investigation targeting ASI and other aerospace agencies in Italy. In a letter posted on ASI’s website, Saggese proclaims his innocence and says his resignation should in no way be construed as an admission of guilt in the investigation, which one Italian official said included some 100 government agents raiding ASI’s Rome headquarters, and other agencies, on Feb. 6 to seize documents.

It was not immediately clear whether Maria Chiara Carrozza, who as Italy’s minister of universities and research has direct authority over ASI, would accept Sagesse’s resignation.

The corruption probe is centered on alleged irregularities in the award of contract over which ASI had control. But the Italian official said it is much wider than that and ultimately could include one or more core ASI programs.

 

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