Embattled movie mogul and former senator, Vittorio Cecchi Gori is set to appear in court this week on corruption charges.

He will answer questioning on charges of paying $9,000 (L20m) to a middle-man in the Sicilian town of Acireale in exchange for a package of political votes allegedly controlled by a local Mafia clan.

The Italian media reported on Wednesday that the latest round of trouble for Cecchi Gori arose after one his closest aides, Paolo Cardini, was approached by the leader of the Acireale football team's fan club one week before last May's national elections. The man allegedly offered Cardini a package of votes for Cecchi Gori in exchange for a down-payment.

During his electoral campaign in Sicily, Cecchi Gori, who is the president of Italy's premier league Fiorentina football club, publicly promised to buy Acireale Calcio and lift the club from third to second division.

However, Cecchi Gori lost his seat in the Senate in the May elections and has not bought Acireale Calcio.

Others under investigation in the cash-for-votes scandal include the mayor of Acireale and a number of Sicilian politicians.