General Vannacci probed over anti-gay book

General Roberto Vannacci was notified on Monday that he is under investigation over a anti-gay book that he recently self-published and has become a best-seller.

The general was given the notification after arriving at the Army’s Rome headquarters to prepare for a new role he has been assigned and immediately took a leave of absence of one month for “family reasons”, the sources said.

Vannacci has been hailed as a hero by the anti-politically correct lobby in Italy over his book, which also slated Jews, feminists, environmentalists and migrants.

At the weekend he was named army ground operation forces chief of staff after being sacked as head of the military geographical institute in August after the release of the book.

Defence ministry sources said Sunday Vannacci’s new post “is not a promotion”.

They stressed that his new role “does not entail relations with other institutions”.

They said he would “only be commander of his own office chiefs and will not have direct decision-making autonomy”.

Former crack paratroop regiment chief Vannacci, 55, who was replaced by his direct superior after Defence Minister Guido Crosetto started disciplinary proceedings in mid-August, has been defended by many right-wing politicians who say his right to free speech is sanctioned by the Italian Constitution.

In his book, ‘The world back to front’, Vannacci, formerly head of the Folgore paratroopers, says of homosexuals: “You are not normal, come to terms with it!”, insisting that “normality is heterosexuality”.

“If everything seems normal to you, however, it is the fault of the plots of the international gay lobby,” he adds.

He also speaks strongly in favour of self defence: If a burglar enters a house, “why should I not be authorised to shoot him, to stab him with whatever object I can get my hands on?”.

“If I plunge the pencil I have in my breast pocket into the jugular of the mug that attacks me, killing him, why should I risk being condemned?” Despite the defence ministry sources’ denials, many politicians took Vannacci’s new appointment as a promotion and criticised it.

Green-Left Alliance bigwig Nicola Fratoianni said “Italy deserves better”, More Europe leader Riccardo Magi said the case was “shameful”, and centrist Italia Viva (IV) House Whip Davide Faraone said it was “scandalous to reward him”.

As other sources confirmed that disciplinary proceedings against the general were ongoing, Vannacci said “I will continue to present my book”.