Defamation case opened against racist Italian senator Roberto Calderoli as abuse of black minister continues
Local councillor receives suspended sentence for 'should be raped' comments and immigration minister Cecile Kyenge is met with noose protests
The Italian senator who compared the country’s first black minister to an orangutan is being investigated for defamation by prosecutors, as he rejects calls to resign.
Judicial sources at a court in the northern city of Bergamo confirmed a file had been opened looking into the comments, made by Roberto Calderoli, a prominent leader of the anti-immigration Northern League.
Mr Calderoli has faced calls to resign after he said seeing immigration minister Cecile Kyenge made him think of a “resemblance to an orangutan”. But he told the Senate that they should judge him on his behaviour there, rather than at the political rally where the racial slur was committed.
He said that Ms Kyenge had accepted his apology, that he would send her a bouquet of flowers, and added: “I said something foolish and I recognise that.”
Meanwhile a local councillor for the Northern League was given a 13-month suspended sentence and banned from public office for three years yesterday because she suggested Ms Kyenge should be raped.
Dolores Valandro was found guilty by a court in Padua of inciting sexual violence for racial reasons, after she posted a comment on an article about an attempted rape by an African: ”Why doesn't anyone rape her [Ms Kyenge], that way she will understand the experience of the victim of this bloody crime? Shame!“
While the Northern League expelled Ms Valandro after she made the comment, many of its members have taken Mr Calderoli’s cue to scale up abuse of Ms Kyenge, who has been described as a “lightning rod” for discussions of race in Italy since her appointment as a minister in 2010.
On Monday, just two days after the senator made his “orangutan” comparison, Ms Kyenge was greeted on a visit to a conference in the northern city of Pescara by nooses hung from lampposts, and posters with slogans like: “Immigration, the noose of the people!” and: “Everyone should live in their own country”, according to reports by news agency AFP.
The leading Democratic Party continued to call for Mr Calderola’s resignation, and Prime Minister Enrico Letta warned the League to put an end to the “shameful chapter” in Italy’s history, or else risk a political confrontation.
- 1 Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
- 2 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 3 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Edgar Froese dead: Tangerine Dream founder dies aged 70
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...