Rome

Napolitano tells new magistrates to be 'balanced, impartial'

Italian president warns of political, institutional tensions

Napolitano tells new magistrates to be 'balanced, impartial'

Rome, June 11 - The Italian president warned newly appointed judges on Tuesday to exercise particular prudence given turmoil in Italy's political and institutional climate. "Independence, impartiality and balance in administering justice are indispensable more than ever in a context of persistent tensions and difficult equilibrium at the political and institutional level," said Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, addressing newly appointed magistrates at the Italian presidential palace. Three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi has long maintained that Italy's judicial system is plagued by allegedly biased, left-wing magistrates on a witch-hunt to persecute him in his numerous proceedings. He does not currently sit in the fragile left-right government, but high-ranking members of his center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party do, such as PdL Secretary Angelino Alfano, who is both deputy premier and interior minister.

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