by Jacopo Ugolini

After Justice Minister Carlo Nordio's speech in the Chamber, an almost unnecessary fuss was raised. But - as can be guessed from the title of this article - we are not here, we, to "pick at" the Minister's speech: on the contrary, some of the shouting and screaming is nothing but positive testimony to the work this government is doing.

Let's go step by step. In the Chamber, the Justice Minister spoke to unveil some of the next steps that the government will take regarding the review of abuse of office, the use of wiretapping, the length, as well as the complexity, of trials, and much more. Without forgetting, of course, to take action on the fight against the Mafia, an issue on which the minister clashed with the Five Star Movement's member and former National Anti-Mafia Prosecutor, Cafiero de Raho.

The latter accused the government, in the person of Minister Nordio, of not really wanting to fight one of the worst evils gripping our country, the Mafia, claiming Nordio was willing to eliminate wiretapping for Mafia offenses (never has such a word come out of the Minister's mouth). To tell the truth, Nordio's response, certainly more calm than what many would think at first glance, should perhaps have also included a dig at Giuseppe Conte and the Movement: it happened precisely during the second Conte Government, in fact, that so many Mafia members were allowed to leave prison and enjoy house arrest because of Covid-19.

Instead, Nordio's words, responding to the criticism levelled by the neo-Five Star Movement De Raho, drew on his interlocutor's likely warped view of the anti-Mafia struggle, who "having [...] played the role of national anti-mafia prosecutor very well", the Minister said, "will have a pan-Mafia view of the state whereby it appears that our state is all infiltrated by the Mafia.". But the final blow came later, when the minister strongly pursued by Meloni - as the PM herself reconfirmed in the Palazzo Chigi note published in confirmation of the government's and the PM's own support for the Justice Minister's work, which we will account for later - rightly sanctions that De Raho's view inevitably implies that "in these 30 years, the fight against the Mafia has failed."As if to say, one way or the other: either the fight against the Mafia has been done well (albeit with all the limitations and especially the difficulties imaginable) or De Raho in the role of Anti-Mafia Prosecutor has been defeated (or, at least, he has not put up strong resistance, indeed he has failed in his goal) in the battle thus allowing the Mafia to spread into the depths of the State.

But the clash, first in the Chamber and then in the newspapers and social media in the following days, revolved around the minister's words on wiretapping. Carlo Nordio has, in fact, described how there are three kinds of wiretappings: those on state security, preventive wiretapping (considered most useful by the Minister as secret and "under the responsibility of the prosecutor and remain in his safe and are in fact never disseminated") and, finally, the third kind, which is the one on which Fratelli d'Italia and the entire Center-Right wants to put a stop and provide for substantial changes. We are talking about judicial wiretapping, namely those "carried out at the request of the prosecutor with the authorization of the judge's office".

Why are judicial wiretaps "the problem" and need to be revised? Carlo Nordio is adamant: "Moving from the prosecutor to the judge through filing, transit through chancelleries, cross-examination with defense attorneys and the judge, they end up in the hands of dozens of people". The result is clear: the media puts the wiretap on the front page and the citizens involved already see themselves condemned by public opinion. A clarification, that of the Minister, due to the criticism of his speech in the Senate given the day before (Wednesday 18, ed.), of which some tried to give a reading somewhat distant from the actual words used.

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The Minister, in fact, announced the pledge that he did not want to eliminate or even strongly modify the mafia and terrorism wiretapping regulations, while reminding everyone, however, in a real lesson in safeguarding civil rights, the purpose of wiretapping and its use. In fact, the former assistant prosecutor of Venice, now a minister, reminded everyone that "there is a deep difference between wiretaps that, as the law instructs, are aimed at securing and finding evidence versus wiretaps that are themselves intended to be evidence".

Criticism, however, does not seem to have held him back, so much so that in the speech, quoted above in part, he gave to the Chamber, he did not take a step back from the reforms that this country, and its, indeed our (!), justice system, need, sanctioning that "if we don't take action on wiretapping abuses, we will fall into a halved democracy".

Criticism was not long in coming. When garantismo is in power, someone ready to notice crimes everywhere will never remain silent. In fact, several prosecutors immediately cried out about the danger of fighting the Mafia without the tool of wiretapping: those who assumed this were clearly in bad faith. So much so that the Minister himself had to intervene on the matter, reiterating that clearly wiretapping "will also remain for crimes that are satellites" of phenomena such as mafia and terrorism, specifying so clearly that however "Italy is not made up of prosecutors and this Parliament must not be supine and acquiescent to those positions". And to the criticism coming from the Democratic Party benches, which blamed the minister for wanting to eliminate the crime of abuse of office, Nordio masterfully responds by saying that "I can assure you that from me there has been a veritable procession of mayors from your parties who have come to me begging to eliminate this crime. At this point, who is Dr. Jekill and Mr. Hyde?". Hit and sunken.

At last, we can say that Italy has a guaranteeist Minister of Justice, who will ensure, if allowed to work, our country to have fair, fast and equitable justice.

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BA in Political Science and International Relations, now master's degree student in Government, Administration and Politics at LUISS Guido Carli. Parliamentary aide in the 19th Legislature. Contributor to Nazione Futura and Atlantico Quotidiano.