Call for justice minister to quit over fraud-case 'meddling'
Cancellieri says only did 'humanitarian intervention'01 November, 19:52
The case regards Giulia Ligresti, a member of a major Italian business dynasty who was arrested along with her sister Ionella in July for alleged involvement in cooking the books at the Fonsai insurance group.
Her father Salvatore Ligresti, the family patriarch and former honorary chairman of Fonsai, was put under house arrest along with two former executives from the insurance company.
The M5S has called on Cancellieri to quit after she admitted calling judicial authorities about the case before Giulia Ligresti was released from jail and put under house arrest in August.
Cancellieri, who is not aligned to a political party, said the call was merely a "humanitarian intervention" to make the authorities aware that Giulia Ligresti suffered from anorexia and depression.
The minister is also under for reportedly calling Salvatore Ligresti's partner, a long-standing friend, to offer support after the arrests. The M5S alleged that this is a case of people with friends in high places receiving better treatment from the justice system than ordinary people. Danilo Leva, the justice spokesman for Premier Enrico Letta's centre-left Democratic Party (PD), said Friday that the minister should report to parliament, after which the party would make "evaluations".
"We are against exploitation of this case (for political gain), but clarification is needed soon to dispel any doubts that there are first-class and second.class inmates in Italy," Leva said. Cancellieri's son, Piergiorgio Peluso, is a former manager at the insurance group.
The Ligresti fraud case is set to start next month.
But Giulia Ligresti will not be on trial as she bargained a reduced sentence in September, and had been ordered to serve two years and eight months in custody, plus a 20,000-euro fine.
She may be able to arrange community service rather than actual jail time.