Umbria councillor convicted of racism

PD calls it shameful, League member says was 'crime of opinion'

(ANSA) - Perugia, December 2 - The Umbria regional legislative assembly on Monday discussed an issue related to a councillor convicted of spreading racist ideas linked to an incident in 2001 in the Veneto region.
    The official convicted, healthcare councillor Luca Coletto, is from the far-right League party.
    "Having a person on the town council that has been convicted of a crime is serious but having one convicted of racism is unacceptable," Democratic Party (PD) whip at the Umbria regional assembly Tommaso Bori said. "Umbria rejects the ideas propagated by the new councillor," Bori said. "We would like to ask the speaker whether she knew or was unaware (of the conviction, Ed.). That Coletto has been tasked with anti-discrimination doesn't make sense." Bori added that the choice of Coletto for the position did not make sense, since he is "external, far from Umbria at the level of geography and values." Coletto responded by saying that "I challenge anyone to find a single racist phrase of mine on the internet." He was speaking on the sidelines of the regional council meeting, which he did not take part in because he arrived late in Perugia. In responding to journalists' questions about his signing a document - alongside other politicians - for the dismantling of an illegal Roma camp, Coletto said that "it is true that there was the conviction but it was a crime of opinion."