Which term is used to describe the 1990s nationwide judicial investigation into political corruption in Italy?
Mani pulite (Italian for "clean hands") was a nationwide judicial investigation into political corruption in Italy held in the 1990s, resulting in the demise of the so-called "First Republic" and the disappearance of many political parties. Some politicians and industry leaders committed suicide after their crimes were exposed. Antonio Di Pietro was the main judicial figure in charge of the investigation.
In some accounts, as many as 5,000 public figures fell under suspicion. At one point, more than half of the members of the Italian Parliament were under indictment, while more than 400 city and town councils were dissolved because of corruption charges. The estimated value of bribes paid annually in the 1980s by Italian and foreign companies bidding for large government contracts reached US$4 billion dollars (6.5 trillion lire).