Italy’s ‘Mani Pulite’ prosecutor Antonio Di Pietro to address Civil Society demonstration

Former Italian anti-corruption prosecutor Antonio Di Pietro, who brought down the entire political system in the 1990s, will address a 3 December demonstration calling for justice, organised by the Civil Society Network

'Mani Pulite' prosecutor turned politician Antonio Di Pietro
'Mani Pulite' prosecutor turned politician Antonio Di Pietro

Former anti-corruption prosecutor turned politician Antonio Di Pietro will be addressing a demonstration calling for justice, being organised by Civil Society Network on Sunday 3 December.

The demonstration – to be held in Valletta at 4pm – will also be addressed by writer Immanuel Mifsud, journalist Caroline Muscat, CSN activist Miriam Galea and Italian investigative journalist Marilu Mastrogiovanni.

Di Pietro shot to fame in 1990s when he spearheaded a number of magistrates on what became known as the Mani Pulite ("Clean Hands") team, which investigated political corruption. The team investigated hundreds of local and national politicians, all the way up to the most prominent national political figures, including Bettino Craxi. The Italian press named the investigation "Tangentopoli" ("Bribesville").

After the Mani Pulite investigations resulted in the disbandment of the previous ruling parties (principally, Democrazia Cristiana), Di Pietro was called into Romano Prodi's new governing team as minister for public works, with responsibility for the areas most affected by bribery—all the initiatives financed by the state. 

In 1998, he was elected to the Italian Senate in a by-election caused by the resignation of a senator, and defeated right-wing journalist Giuliano Ferrara in the Mugello constituency, a left wing stronghold. Di Pietro later founded his own movement, Italia dei Valori (Italy of Values), making its main theme the fight against political corruption in Italy. 

In late October 2012 he came under examination in an inquiry by the Italian national television programme "Report" which questioned the alleged spending of IDV funds for personal use. Di Pietro has denied wrongdoing. At the end of 2014, he left Italy of Values and became an independent.

"Civil Society Network is insisting that Government removes Malta's Police Commissioner and Attorney General in view of their lack of action on corruption and lack of collaboration with the Judiciary, as recently highlighted by Chief Justice,” the group said in a statement.

“Their replacements should enjoy the support of at least two thirds of Parliament, in a spirit of consensus.”

It noted that although the Government had taken up its proposals for constitutional reform, the group’s support was conditional on an honest process headed by persons who were universally trusted, on transparency and on civil society participation in the reform process.

“To date, Government has only issued vague statements on the matter,” it said.

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