Rome

Mafia investigators must destroy Italian president wiretaps

Constitutional court upholds appeal against Palermo prosecutors

Mafia investigators must destroy Italian president wiretaps

Rome, December 5 - Italy's Constitutional Court has ruled that Palermo prosecutors investigating alleged negotiations between the Mafia and the State must destroy wiretaps of President Giorgio Napolitano. The Italian head of state appealed to the court on the grounds that the prosecutors had surpassed their powers by recording four conversations he had with Nicola Mancino, a former interior minister and senate speaker, between November 2011 and May 2012. Napolitano argued that the Italian Constitution forbids prosecutors from investigating the head of state unless he is suspected of high treason or attacking the Constitution itself. The wiretaps should have have been destroyed immediately, he said. He also argued that the powers of the Italian president would be diminished for future holders of the office if he accepted the conduct of the prosecutors. Mancino was charged along with 11 other people in July in relation to alleged negotiations to stop a series of Cosa Nostra bomb attacks in the early 1990s that claimed the lives of anti-Mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992, among other people. Mancino is accused of perjury for saying he did not know about the negotiations. He denies this.

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