Govt won’t change ‘external mafia’ crime – Meloni

Not in govt programme, as Nordio says – premier.

(see related) (ANSA) – ROME, JUL 19 – Premier Giorgia Meloni said Wednesday that the government will not change the crime of external participation in mafia association, seeking to close a furore sparked by comments by Justice Minister Carlo Nordio.
Nordio had mooted bringing in changes regarding this felony, which punishes people who are not part of organized-crime syndicates but to some degree collude with them.
He said the felony is the result of jurisprudence, rather than a specific law in the criminal code, and said it would be better to have a specific law.
Elly Schlein, the leader of the opposition, centre-left Democratic Party (PD), said Saturday that, by mooting changes to this felony, the government gave off a bad “signal” about the fight against the mafia.
“Nordio responded to a question about external participation in mafia association, but he also said immediately that it was not in the centre-right’s government programme,” Meloni said while she was in Palermo to mark the 31st anniversary of the Via d’Amelio Cosa Nostra bombing in which anti-mafia magistrate Paolo Borsellino and five members of his security detail were murdered.
“Indeed, it is not in there and there have been no measures on this”.
Nordio also returned to the subject during a question-time session in the Lower House on Wednesday, expressing “bewilderment and indignation” that he had been accused of aiding the mafia following his comments.
He reiterated that changes to the crime of external participation in mafia association “are not part of the government programme, they do not exist, they will not be made”.
The row over external participation in mafia association erupted amid tension between the government and magistrates union ANM over Nordio’s justice reforms.
The ANM has blasted the government’s plans to separate the careers of Italian prosecutors and judges, so that it is no longer possible to switch from one role to the other.
It has also criticized a justice-reform bill that seeks to abolish the crime of abuse of office, change the felony of influence peddling, clamp down on the publication of information obtained from wiretaps and the cancel prosecutors’ rights to appeal against acquittals for many minor crimes. (ANSA).