President says prosecutors surpassed powers with wiretaps
Napolitano asks Constitutional Court to intervene16 July, 14:20
Napolitano's office said in a statement that he had appealed to the court even though the wiretapping, carried out during investigations into alleged State-mafia negotiations, had been "indirect".
The president's phone was not tapped but conversations his legal advisor had with former interior minister Nicola Mancino were reportedly recorded.
The statement recalled that the Italian Constitution forbids prosecutors from investigating the head of state unless he is suspected of high treason or attacking the constitution itself.
It said that Palermo prosecutors had kept the recordings, failing to comply with the obligation to immediately destroy them, to be able to assess them and attach them to the investigation documents, at which point they would enter the public domain. It added that the powers of the Italian president would be diminished for future holders of the office if he accepted the conduct of the prosecutors.
Napolitano said last month that there was no truth behind recent media reports linking him to probes into alleged negotiations between politicians and the Sicilian mafia in the 1990s.
"A campaign of insinuations and suspicion regarding the Italian president and his assistants (has been carried out), a campaign built on nothing," Napolitano said regarding reports linking him to negotiations to stop a series of Cosa Nostra bomb attacks that claimed the lives of anti-Mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992.
He said that "arbitrary, tendentious" and "sometimes manipulated versions" have appeared in newspapers, referring to documents on investigations into "the bloodiest mafia massacres of the 1990s".