Justice Minister Carlo Nordio on Thursday rejected the jailed anarchist leader Alfredo Cospito appeal against his 41 bis regime. The jail regime is usually reserved for mafia bosses, and Cospito has been on hunger strike for 111 days.
The Cospito appeal is for the tough 41 bis regime to be lifted for all inmates, including the mafia bosses for whom it was originally intended. As well as appealing through legal channels, Cospito is on hunger strike. He has refused food for 111 days and lost almost 50kg, spurring fears for his health.
Nordio said that Cospito, 55, whose protest has sparked attacks by anarchists in Italy and abroad, should stay under the 41 bis regime. The regime is strict as it limits the ability of mafia bosses, and in his case anarchists, to run activities from prison.
The minister rejected the request for revocation made by the prisoner’s lawyer Flavio Rossi Albertini, judging Cospito to constitute a high social danger.
The 41 bis had been ordered on 4th May last year by the then justice minister, Marta Cartabia, for four years.
Rossi Albertini said earlier Thursday that Cospito is down from 120 kg to nearly 70 kg on his hunger strike. His health is of concern, particularly since he is refusing supplements.
Judicial sources said on Tuesday that Cospito will be examined Saturday by a doctor named by his defence. Justice Undersecretary Andrea Delmastro Delle Vedove also said it was the State’s duty to ensure Cospito gets the best possible medical treatment.
Anarchists have staged protests and acts of vandalism in Italy and abroad in support of Cospito. There were also large rallies in Rome and Milan at the weekend in which demonstrators clashed with police and some were arrested.
The case is also at the centre of a huge political row in which Delmastro is a lead player.