Rome

Grasso says he hopes to reform laws

Democratic Party leader Bersani presents anti-mafia chief

Grasso says he hopes to reform laws

Rome, December 28 - National anti-mafia prosecutor Piero Grasso said Friday that he hopes that if elected in February, he can see improvements made to Italian laws. "Many times as a magistrate I brought ideas to politics, but only a few of them have been put into action," said Grasso, who has been Italy's top anti-mafia prosecutor since 2005. Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani confirmed Friday that Grasso will be a candidate for the Democratic Party (PD) in elections set for February 24-25. "We chose to put two words - morality and work - before the legislature and the rule of law as a top priority for our country," said Bersani, whose party is currently leading polls. But political opponents complained that the Grasso-Bersani alliance only proves the judiciary cannot be trusted to be fair. "This Bersani-Grasso press conference today once again shows the deep connection between the political left and the judiciary," complained Anna Maria Bernini, a spokesperson for the People of Freedom (PdL) political party founded by ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi. Berlusconi has frequently complained that various legal actions against him over the years have been motivated strictly by a judicial-led vendetta. The participation in the PD of Grasso - who announced his resignation from the judiciary Thursday - would help drive a "civic resurgence", Bersani said, while Grasso urged a "gradual revolution" of the justice system. "I'd like... a revolution of the justice system across the board on issues of law, corruption, vote trading...and false accounting," he said. As Palermo's chief prosecutor, Grasso tracked down a string of top mobsters and moved ever closer to the biggest catch of all, Bernardo Provenzano, a fugitive who had been running the Mafia for most of his 42 years in hiding. Grasso worked on anti-Mafia cases in the early '90s and coordinated investigations into the 1992 bombs that murdered Italy's top two anti-Mafia invesigators Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino and, a year later, attacked cultural and religious targets in Rome and Milan. Grasso is the second anti-mafia prosecutor planning to run for office following an announcement by ex-Palermo prosecutor Antonio Ingroia last week saying he will lead leftist representatives of civil society.

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