Rome

Ingroia says he won't have the option to return to judiciary

Ex-mafia prosecutor says he was punished for entering politics

Ingroia says he won't have the option to return to judiciary

Rome, June 19 - Ex-anti-mafia prosecutor Antonio Ingroia said Wednesday that despite reports to the contrary, his career as a magistrate is finished. Some media reports suggested that he could return within two years, but the law says otherwise, Ingroia said in a statement. "My farewell to the judiciary is therefore to be considered final". Earlier in the day, Ingroia's boss suggested otherwise. The chief prosecutor in the northwestern city of Aosta, Marilinda Meneccia, said the Ingroia refused to resign but instead simply chose to stop working as a State attorney. The decision effectively suspended him from the post yet implied that Ingroia would be declared out of the judiciary but could eventually ask to return to work as a magistrate. Ingroia sparked allegations of political bias in the judiciary when he went into politics last December. After his disappointing foray into politics in February's general elections, Ingroia clashed with the judiciary's self-governing body, the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) in April following its decision to appoint him as deputy prosecutor in Aosta. The surrounding region, Val d'Aosta, is the only one in which Ingroia did not stand for elected office with his left-wing Civil Revolution party when he stepped aside from his role as magistrate to run in general elections. Ingroia, previously an anti-mafia prosecutor in Palermo, said at the time the CSM's decision to post him in Aosta was a 'punishment' for entering politics. Earlier this month Menneccia initiated action against Ingroia in Italy's supreme Cassation Court, alleging he continued to pursue his political interests longer than permitted. The prosecutor had been allowed to take a temporary leave from office to campaign for election but allegedly continued in politics even after his party folded following its debacle in the national vote. On Wednesday Ingroia said leaving his work as a prosecutor was a "much-suffered and difficult decision", adding however that he could not continue to "suffer discrimination from politicians in the CSM".

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