Byline: Sara Gay Forden

MILAN--Luigi (Gigi) Monti, chairman of the Basile fashion house, which is currently in bankruptcy, has charged his former managing director Nicola Di Luccio with slander in connection with statements Di Luccio made to Milan investigating magistrates regarding the payment of a kickback of $254,000 (400 million lire) paid to tax police in 1990.
The charge is made in a suit filed in the local civil court here.
As reported, following interrogations with the magistrates on Sept. 16, Monti was arrested and jailed at Milan's San Vittore detention center despite his insistence that he knew nothing about the transaction, which he said was handled by then-managing director Di Luccio. Monti was finally released last week after he admitted to judges that he learned after the fact that officers conducting an audit at Basile in 1990 "had been taken care of," but he said he never knew the details.
Monti's lawyer, Alfredo Zampogna, said in an interview Tuesday that his client was a victim both of Di Luccio, who left Basile in 1991, as well as the judges who unfairly incarcerated Monti.
"Monti was unaware of what was going on. He is innocent," said Zampogna, "and not only is he now under investigation for corruption, he was also thrown into jail without justification."
Zampogna charged that Di Luccio made a number of false statements to the judges regarding the transaction, including a statement that he had personally paid part of the kickback to tax officials in agreement with Monti who said he would subsequently reimburse Di Luccio through salary increases and bonuses.
"This is absolutely not true. When Monti [first] heard that the auditors had asked to be paid off, he refused," Zampogna said.
Di Luccio's lawyer Raffaelle Di Palma said he wasn't aware of the charge against his client and declined comment.
"I haven't received any notification," he said.

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