The founder of the ruling party in Italy is threatened with imprisonment

© RIA Novosti / Alexander Wolfparade in fotobanka. Italy. Archival photoThe founder of the ruling party in Italy is threatened with imprisonment© RIA Novosti / Alexander Wolfparade the image Bank

The founder and former leader of the now ruling Italy political party «League» Senator Umberto Bossi will be sent to jail pursuant to a final court decision, sentencing him to one year and 15 days imprisonment for insulting the President of Italy; this decision was published late Wednesday evening, the Prosecutor of the Northern Italian province of Brescia.

At the same time the Prosecutor’s office issued a decree, according to which the execution of this punishment is suspended. According to the current Italian legislation seriously ill 77-year-old politician has now at his disposal 30 days in order to officially request the replacement of imprisonment with alternative penalties. In particular, speech can go about the execution of public works, as was the case with sentenced to four years in prison the former Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi. In addition, Bossi may be asked to replace him imprisonment, house arrest, or even to postpone execution of the decision on deprivation of liberty for an indefinite time. If a politician does not make appropriate request, the decision on his detention will automatically come into force.

To imprisonment Bossi sentenced for insulting the President of Italy Giorgio Napolitano during a party meeting in December 2011. Then, as Federal Secretary of the «League», Bossi publicly called the President a dirty word. Moreover, he was accompanied by an insult to the well-known gesture of «horns», which in southern Europe is considered a dirty hint that the one to whom the gesture is addressed, is a cuckold. A statement about the misconduct of a prominent politician in the judiciary addressed by ordinary people who saw what happened a mockery of the President of the Republic, which, according to the Italian Constitution «represents national unity».

In September 2015, the court of Bergamo acknowledged Bossi guilty of insulting honour and dignity of the President of Italy and sentenced him to fifteen years imprisonment. In January 2017, the court of Appeal of Brescia has confirmed the conviction, reducing the sentence to one year and 15 days in jail. On 12 September the Supreme court of cassation of Italy confirmed the decision, putting an end to this litigation.

It is noteworthy that in the beginning of last week the lawyers of the «League» has reached an agreement with prosecutors about the procedure of payment to the state Treasury 49 million euros, which had previously been misappropriated by Bossi and his inner circle of public funds on financing of political parties. The scandal in this regard broke out in the Apennines seven years ago. In July 2017, the court of Genoa sentenced Bossi to 2.5 years of imprisonment for large-scale fraud. According to prosecutors, only in 2008-2010, the leadership of the «League» was received about 50 million euros of government funding, with most of these funds were used for personal purposes by members of the Bossi family and his entourage.

As a result, in April 2012, the founder of the «League» was forced to resign, although he as a consolation prize and was prepared for the post of «President for life» of the party. Seriously ill Bossi actually fully retired from active political activities, and most of his closest supporters were gradually relegated to tertiary roles. However, during the parliamentary elections on March 4, veteran of Italian politics, he was again elected a member of the Senate of the Republic.

In the March elections «League» enlisted the support of 17% of voters and together with the «5 star Movement» has formed a coalition government. The current leader of the «League» Matteo Salween now occupies the post of Deputy Prime Minister and interior Minister of Italy. According to public opinion polls, he is one of the most popular politicians in the country.