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Grillo found guilty of illegal high-speed rail protest

Sentenced to four months for lack of 'No TAV' permits

03 March, 12:28
Grillo found guilty of illegal high-speed rail protest (ANSA) - Turin, March 3 - The head of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, Beppe Grillo, was sentenced to four months in prison on Monday for a protest without permits at an illegally built large mountain hut in 2010 that became a centerpiece for demonstrations against a high-speed rail line from France to Italy. Prosecutors had requested nine months imprisonment for the comic-turned-politician who backs the 'No-Tav' campaign in the Susa Valley north of Turin, which contests the line's economic value and says it will despoil pristine landscape.

The Italian and French governments have insisted the line go ahead to speed passenger and freight traffic and boost both countries' economies.

Grillo, who heads Italy's second-biggest party, is also under investigation by prosecutors in several Italian cities for allegedly inciting police to stop protecting politicians.