A massive row over Cospito between two senior lawmakers for the Brothers of Italy (FdI) party and the Democratic Party (PD) escalated on Friday.
One of the FdI MPs, Donzelli, on Tuesday questioned whether the opposition centre-left group were for the State or terrorists.
On Friday, his colleague Delmastro fuelled the row by saying the PD lawmakers had given in to Cospito’s demand that they meet other people being held under the 41 bis regime, including two mafia bosses, as a condition for the encounter with him.
“The PD will have to explain that bow to the mafiosi to the public,” Delmastro said in an interview with local daily newspaper ‘Il Biellese’, based in his hometown of Biella in Piedmont.
The PD, on the other hand, said it would sue the FdI lawmakers for defamation.
Who are the FdI MPs?
One of the FdI MPs, Giovanni Donzelli, who is a member of the Copasir parliamentary committee that oversees Italy’s intelligence services, revealed in the Lower House this week that Cospito had talked to mafia bosses about getting the 41 bis abolished and that four PD lawmakers had visited him in jail.
Andrea Delmastro Delle Vedove, the justice undersecretary with the portfolio for the penitentiary department was the source of the information. He is also Donzelli’s flatmate.
The PD is up in arms, demanding Delmastro and Donzelli quit for, among other things, revealing allegedly secret information.
Justice Minister Carlo Nordio, however, has said the information was sensitive but not classified.
What is the Cospito case?
Cospito has been on hunger strike for over 100 days. He is protesting against the tough jail regime he is being held under, the 41 bis. Whilst an anarchist, he is not mafia for whom the regime is usually reserved.
His case has sparked a wave of violent protests, threats and vandalism by anarchist groups. The row over Cospito may will linger for some time.