Liliana Ferraro, the top Italian magistrate in the fight against the Mafia and other crime syndicates, led the Italian delegation, while Michel Debacq, a former Marseilles magistrate now posted to Rome to liaise with his Italian counterparts, was the chief French representative.
The talks, revealed by a local newspaper yesterday, were held in Aix-en-Provence. While the Justice Ministry in Paris said the meeting had been planned five months ago, the killing on 25 February of Yann Piat, a National Assembly deputy for the centre-right Union for French Democracy (UDF), had been added to the matters under review.
Piat, 44, who had adopted a vociferous stance against corruption in the southern Var department where she had her constituency, was shot dead as she drove to her home in Hyeres. She had been a member of a parliamentary commission reporting on Mafia activities in France. Letters she left led to the questioning of some 40 people, among them prominent local politicians. Bernard Tapie, the entrepreneur and a minister in the last Socialist government, was among those named. He was to see investigators by the end of this week.
The murder of Piat, a former deputy for the National Front who left the party in 1988, has prompted French media discussion of links between crime consortiums and politicians.Reuse content