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They arrested Tom Barrack, owner of the Costa Smeralda from 2003 to 2012. He bought it from the founder Aga Khan for 280 million euros, reselling it to the Emir of Qatar for 680. Gain of 400 million and 170 million of taxes evaded, according to the prosecutor’s office of Tempio Pausania. But the handcuffs on the wrists of the Lebanese-American financier did not trigger the Italian justice system.
After years of investigation, the process has not yet begun with us. Barrack, a very close friend of Trump, ended up in jail in Los Angeles because he had not declared that he was a lobbyist on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. Serious crime in the USA: given the proximity to the president, this great financier of his could have an influence on US foreign policy.
And to think that Barrack was unable to influence even the small town of Arzachena (Olbia). The Costa Smeralda consortium has been trying to build other luxury hotels on its 2,400 hectares for decades, but Sardinian laws block it. That’s why the Aga Khan sold, and Barrack is gone too. I interviewed him for Newsweek in 2003 in Porto Cervo, he had just arrived. Sardinia that summer produced incredible photos, Berlusconi in a bandana drove Blair. Fareed Zakaria, editor of the US weekly, did not believe me when I described the Dolce Vita of the Costa Smeralda to him, between Briatore’s Billionaire, Naomi Campbell and Heidi Klum, Valentino and Gwyneth Paltrow, the excesses on yachts and the exploits of actors, footballers and proto-olgettine. Yet my article passed Newsweek’s strict fact-checkers.
What has not been overcome almost twenty years later is the slowness of Italian justice. Bypassed on Barrack by the US, which arrested him for facts two years ago. Still in Tempio they have not yet indicted Grillo’s son: next hearing in November, calmly. We discover that the trial for the Bologna massacre of 41 years ago is still ongoing, they have just found a new culprit. And in Genoa after three years the bridge was rebuilt, but we didn’t even get to the preliminary hearing. The Newsweek editor wouldn’t believe it.