Palumbo shipyards owner Antonio Palumbo has had a conviction for the illegal dumping of waste overturned on appeal by a court in Sicily, Italian media reported.
The decision of the Messina court of appeal means Palumbo will be spared a six-year prison sentence that he was given in 2019 as part of the original verdict.
Palumbo’s eight-year legal battle concerned allegations that he had facilitated the dumping of chemical waste in Italian waters, and then conspired to hide the evidence of that crime.
Italian prosecutors started investigating the case in 2011 after they matched samples of hazardous waste found at sea to that of blasting additives used at a Messina shipyard owned by Palumbo.
A court had initially ruled against the shipyard owner and his son Raffaele, and sentenced the two men to six years in jail.
But that verdict has now been overturned on appeal, with a court this week acquitting Palumbo of all charges and also revoking disqualification sanctions against the company.
No details about the judgement or its motivations were available at the time of writing, with Italian media reports stating that the Messina court would be publishing the judgement in full in 90 days’ time.
Reports did also not state whether or not Palumbo’s son, Raffaele, had also been acquitted.
Palumbo has consistently argued that the case was a trumped-up one that was politically motivated and said he was pleased to see that the name of his family business was now cleared.
“I wish to express my great satisfaction at the outcome of this sentence which has finally re-established the truth in a bitter story that has caused great upset to my professional and personal life,” he said.
Palumbo, who was represented by lawyers Giro Sepe and Giulia Bongiorno, said he could finally put this dark chapter behind him and he looked forward to further growing the business which today has an annual turnover of more than €200 million.
The Palumbo Group owns eight differenti shipyards, including the former Malta Shipyatd in Cospicua. The company entered the Maltese market in 2010.
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