Deal struck on statute of limitations

After reform of penal process

(ANSA) - Rome, November 8 - A deal has been struck between government partners the 5-Star Movement (M5) and League on reforming the statute of limitations to stop so many trials timing out, Deputy Premier and League leader Matteo Salvini said after a government summit on the issue Thursday.
    "Deal found on the reform of the statute of limitations, but only with certain timeframes, he said.
    Salvini said the reform would come into force in January 2020.
    "The deal was made in half an hour. I want short times for trials. The guilty in jail, freedom for the innocent. The norm will be in the anti-corruption bill but it will come into force in January 2020 when the reform of the penal process will have been approved.
    "The enabling law, which will end in December 2019, will be examined by the Senate next week.
    Justice Minister Alfonso Bonafede confirmed that the reform will come into force in a year's time.
    He said it would be "part of an epoch-making reform of penal procedures".
    Bonafede said the government would ask to be able to use a special enabling bill to make the reform.
    He said, however, that the reform would stay in an amendment to the government's anti-corruption bill "which will hit parliament next week". Civil Service Minister Giulia Bongiorno said after the summit that the statute of limitations would be linked to the duration of trials.
    A League appointee, she said there was "full harmony" on the issue with the 5-Star Movement (M5S), their government partner.
    She said work would start "immediately" on reforming the penal process to quicken Italy's snail-paced justice system. Earlier, 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio said that ruling partner the League must do a deal on a reform to the statute of limitations or else their government contract would be annulled.
    The M5S wanted the statute of limitations to be stopped after first-instance trials to stop so many people seeing their trials timed out and the guilty getting off.
    League leader Matteo Salvini said he is amenable to a reform, but not such a drastic one, which he says will lead to "infinite trials" both for the innocent and the guilty.
    Di Maio and Salvini, the two deputy premiers, held the government summit to settle the disagreement on Thursday morning.
    Also present were Premier Giuseppe Conte and Justice Minister Alfonso Bonafede.
    Meanwhile in parliament there was chaos on the anti-corruption bill with the opposition centre-right Forza Italia (FI) party occupying the government benches.