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Italian justice minister urged to quit over allegations she got family friend out of jail


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Italian justice minister urged to quit over allegations she got family friend out of jail

The Italian justice minister is facing calls for her resignation after admitting she used her influence to get the daughter of a high profile businessman out of prison.

Anna Maria Cancellieri says she stepped in out of concern for the health of Giulia Ligresti who has anorexia and anxiety.

Ligresti had been arrested along with her father and sister during an investigation into false accounting at insurer Fondiaria SAI which her family controlled until last year.

When asked by a journalist why she had intervened, Cancellieri replied: “I did it because a prisoner could have died. Let me be clear about this. If she had died, what would have happened?Tell me – who would have been responsible? Or maybe because someone has a well-known name they aren’t treated the same. Aren’t we all equal before the law?”

The scandal broke after La Repubblica newspaper published the transcript of a tapped phone conversation where Cancellieri told the Ligestri family “you can count on me.”

Cancellieri has a long-standing friendship with the Ligestri family. Her son earned several million euros as an executive working for Fondiaria SAI, fuelling accusations of a conflict of interest.

The opposition 5-star movement says it will put forward a no-confidence motion against her.

If Cancellieri does quit it will be a blow for Prime Minister Letta’s already fragile left-right coalition.

O Italian justice minister urged to quit over allegations she got family friend out of jail

The Italian justice minister is facing calls for her resignation after admitting she used her influence to get the daughter of a high profile businessman out of prison.

Anna Maria Cancellieri says she stepped in out of concern for the health of Giulia Ligresti who has anorexia and anxiety.

Ligresti had been arrested along with her father and sister during an investigation into false accounting at insurer Fondiaria SAI which her family controlled until last year.

When asked by a journalist why she had intervened, Cancellieri replied: “I did it because a prisoner could have died. Let me be clear about this. If she had died, what would have happened?Tell me – who would have been responsible? Or maybe because someone has a well-known name they aren’t treated the same. Aren’t we all equal before the law?”

The scandal broke after La Repubblica newspaper published the transcript of a tapped phone conversation where Cancellieri told the Ligestri family “you can count on me.”

Cancellieri has a long-standing friendship with the Ligestri family. Her son earned several million euros as an executive working for Fondiaria SAI, fuelling accusations of a conflict of interest.

The opposition 5-star movement says it will put forward a no-confidence motion against her.

If Cancellieri does quit it will be a blow for Prime Minister Letta’s already fragile left-right coalition.

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