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Wiretaps ruling risks balance of power says Ingroia

Warns that State-mafia case decision 'jeopardizes power balance'

15 January, 20:16
Wiretaps ruling risks balance of power says Ingroia (ANSA) - Rome, January 15 - The powers of Italy's president could be opened more widely by a Constitutional Court ruling in the state-mafia case, former deputy prosecutor Antonio Ingroia said Tuesday.

The judgement, released late in the day, could "broaden the powers of the Head of State, thereby jeopardizing the balance of power," warned Ingroia, who had been deputy prosecutor in Palermo before his recent national election campaign.

Italy's Constitutional Court last month ruled that Palermo prosecutors investigating alleged negotiations between the Mafia and the State must destroy wiretaps of President Giorgio Napolitano.

Ingroia, who led that investigation, added that he needed to read the entire judgement, but said it also confirmed "the principle of the absolute secrecy that must surround the communications of the Head of State". That means, he added, that only a judge and public prosecutor could destroy wiretaps of a presidential office.

Ingroia had been closely examining suspicions that high-ranking politicians and police negotiated with Cosa Nostra to try to stop a series of bomb attacks that claimed the lives of anti-mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992.

Napolitano appealed to the court on the grounds that the prosecutors had surpassed their powers by recording four conversations he had with Nicola Mancino, a former interior minister and senate speaker, between November 2011 and May 2012.

Napolitano argued that the Italian Constitution forbids prosecutors from investigating the head of state unless he is suspected of high treason or attacking the Constitution itself.