Italian Court of Cassation, Section I Civil, No. 41736/2021, 28 December 2021
The Court of Cassation has recently ruled on the disqualification for a fixed period of certain administrators colluding directly or indirectly with mafia-type crime organizations.
In the present case, the Court of Syracuse declared Messrs A. M., S. S., R. B. ineligible to stand in the elections for the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate of the Republic and the European Parliament, in regional, provincial, municipal and constituency elections, in relation to the two rounds of elections following the dissolution of the municipal council of Pachino, which had taken place with a Presidential Decree of 15 February 2019, on the proposal of the Minister of the Interior who had reported the existence of "concrete, unequivocal and relevant elements on direct or indirect links between mafia-type organizations and the town administrators".
The appellant complained that the contested decree was null due to the absence of a valid act of introduction to the proceedings, with the consequent infringement of the right of defence and the presumption of innocence, as well as the failure to assess the sanctioning nature of the proceedings, given the seriousness and severity of the measure of disqualification, and the failure to verify and prove the alleged collusive behaviour with criminal organizations.
The Court of Cassation ruled that the appeal was inadmissible, as the conditions set out in Article 374, paragraph 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure were not met. The ineligibility, in fact, has been considered a preventive interdiction measure, whose conditions of application are well identified and, therefore, foreseeable. The objective pursued by the regulation is to avoid the risk that those who caused serious disruption of the municipal administration, allowing interferences within it by criminal associations, could aspire to hold positions identical or similar to those already held and, in this way, potentially perpetuate the harmful interference in the life of the local democratic administrations.
(Comment by Edin Skrebo)