CATANIA – It was the spontaneous declarations of some professors of the University of Catania that characterized the preliminary hearing of the second section of the trial resulting from the investigation of the Digos University Bandita. The 45 defendants, in various capacities, are accused of disruption of the auction, corruption and induction to give and promise benefits. Some ‘academic competitions’ were targeted by the Etna prosecutor’s office, which would have been tailored to the candidate who would then win. The former mayor Enzo Bianco, the former municipal councilor Orazio Licandro and the former chief prosecutor Enzo D’Agata were among the professors and white-collar workers who ended up in front of the gup.
Marina Paino, former director of the Department of Humanities, clarified the process that led to the establishment of the chair of History of the juridical institutions of antiquity assigned to Orazio Licandro. The teacher, defended by Professor Giovanni Grasso, explained to the judge Simona Ragazzi “the absolute regularity of the procedure of the external call for the course that started from the section of Ancient Sciences on the basis of a cultural and interdisciplinary research need in the department”. Paino also highlighted that the course “carried out by Professor Licandro has brought an international enrichment for the department and consequently for the entire University”. Licandro also took the floor and wanted to highlight that “the teaching of the rights of antiquity constitutes a component of the studies of antiquity in many prestigious Italian universities, such as the La Sapienza University of Rome”.
Furthermore, it was highlighted “how external calls must represent 20% of the calls that a University plans, as they are not seen as an expense but as an enrichment for the University itself”.
The teacher Anna Garozzo and the professor of the Department of Political Sciences Matteo Giovanni Negro also spoke in front of the judge.
Furthermore, the judge Simona Ragazzi dissolved the reservation regarding the establishment of a civil action of the non-profit organization Transparency and Merit of the researcher Giambattista Scirè. The gup – citing a sentence of the Supreme Court of 2014 – accepted the request of the association’s lawyers, as did the judge in the main trial that sees the former rectors Giacomo Pignataro and Francesco Basile as defendants. The preliminary hearing was adjourned to April 27th.