Rome

Magistrates will not 'blast' anti-corruption bill

Criticism concerns 'general' problem of statute of limitations

Magistrates will not 'blast' anti-corruption bill

(ANSA) - Rome, October 19 - Italy's judges will give a ''substantially positive'' evaluation of long-awaited but controversial anti-corruption legislation that is currently making its way through parliament, the vice-president of the Italian judiciary's self-governing body, the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM), said on Friday. Michele Vietti said criticisms largely concerned ''the general regime on statutes of limitations'', which the judges' self-governing body has the ''duty'' to point out. He added that these are due not to the bill in question - advocated by the technocrat government of Premier Mario Monti in an attempt to stem corruption in the country - but rather ''to a problem of a general nature'' that results in ''a trial's early demise too often''. The judges' evaluation will be finalised on Monday and approved by the plenum the following Wednesday. The anti-corruption bill was approved by the Senate, Italy's upper chamber, on Wednesday. The proposed law must now pass to the lower house, or Chamber of Deputies, for approval without modifications for it to pass into law. The bill was launched amid a welter of scandals across the country some have said surpass the early 1990s Bribesville scandals that took down the political establishment that had ruled Italy since the Second World War. The bill's provision to shorten the statute of limitations in some cases of corruption has been the main target of critics who argue that several high-profile trials will be timed out. Some have also said it leaves out other key issues like the control of local-government spending and a ban on incriminated politicians standing for office again. Justice Minister Paola Severino says the government plans to address these issues in separate bills. photo: Severino

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