Tajani: “She must be tried in Hungary.” Oppositions with Forza Italia and Lega ask Prime Minister Meloni to intervene in the chamber
“With full respect for the independence and autonomy of the Hungarian judiciary”, the secretary general of the Farnesina, ambassador Riccardo Guariglia, “expressed the firm expectation of the” Italian “government so that the Mrs. Salis be granted a precautionary detention regime as soon as possible in line with European legislation, including alternative measures to prison detention”.
The Budapest prosecutor’s office has asked for eleven years in prison for Ilaria Salis. The 39-year-old Italian teacher, anti-fascist militant, has been in prison in Hungary since February last year accused of assault for having participated in clashes with European neo-Nazis. The woman entered the courtroom with her hands and feet handcuffed.
Yesterday, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani instructed the secretary general of the Farnesina, Riccardo Guariglia, to summon the Hungarian ambassador to Rome for a protest against the conditions of detention of Ilaria Salis. This morning, Guariglia summoned the Chargé d’Affaires of the Republic of Hungary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “In reiterating the protest of the Italian government for the conditions in which Mrs. Ilaria Salis was detained and is being held during the court hearings in Budapest – continues the note – Ambassador Guariglia recalled the key principles established by European and international legislation relating to compliance with guarantees protecting the dignity of prison conditions, including the methods of bringing defendants to court and guarantees of a fair trial.
“The Secretary General also focused on the absolute necessity that Mrs. Salis and her lawyers are guaranteed access to the translation into Italian of the indictments, as already requested by the defense, and the viewing of the surveillance video underlying the ‘indictment, to ensure full enjoyment of the right to defense and a fair trial. The Secretary General finally confirmed that the Embassy in Budapest will continue to ensure every assistance to Mrs Salis and her family, in collaboration with her lawyers”, is underlined again.
On the Salis case, “as regards the question of house arrest, they must be requested by the lawyer in Hungary, the treaty provides that one can request to have house arrest in Italy only if there are house arrests there. If the prisoner is in prison there is no possibility of having her sent to prison in Italy or of house arrest, extradition is not foreseen because it is not that “Salis” committed a crime in Italy and was arrested in Hungary: the hypothetical crime it was committed in Hungary, therefore it must be tried in Hungary”, pointed out the Minister for Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani, pressed by reporters on the Salis case as he left Palazzo Chigi after the Council of Ministers.
Oppositions with Forza Italia and Lega ask Meloni in the chamber
All the oppositions (Pd, M5S, Avs, Action, Più Europa and IV) ask Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to intervene in the chamber on the Ilaria Salis case. Forza Italia also joined the request for urgent information. And immediately afterwards also the League. “I express a favorable opinion but not for the reasons I heard previously”, explains the Northern League member Davide Bellomo regarding the declarations of the opposition representatives in the chamber.
The European Commission for its part “does not comment on individual cases, there is an ongoing process. Problems regarding detention are the responsibility of the member states”. Thus the spokesperson for Justice of the EU executive Christian Wigand reiterates, during the press briefing in Brussels, the low profile line held by the EU on the case of Ilaria Salis, the Italian teacher in prison in Hungary for a year degrading conditions, accused of having attacked two neo-Nazis, taken to court yesterday handcuffed at the hands and feet, tied to a sort of leash.
The Commission “in December 2022 – recalls Wigand – recommended minimum standards on detention to Member States and Member States will report within 18 months” on this. Yesterday Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders limited himself to saying that the Commission is “available to help” in bilateral contacts between Italy and Hungary.
“I knew that it would be emotionally very difficult for my wife and me to see Ilaria dragged in chains to court. But faced with this, I certainly won’t stop, on the contrary, I feel more and more motivated to get her out of there”, he said , in an interview with ‘Corriere della Sera’, Roberto Salis, father of Ilaria, detained in prison in Hungary.
“I was able to meet her for the first time in a year, without a glass divider between us,” he continued. “Ilaria declares herself innocent, and will bring to the courtroom all the reasons to demonstrate that she is not involved in the accusations. The point is another: my daughter must get out of there, we must get her out. We have long denounced the conditions in which she is detained, the deprivation of the fundamental rights of an Italian citizen, in a European country – he added – It is not civil to celebrate a fair trial in these conditions. I would have expected transversal indignation on this”. “Instead I still have to read certain headlines that define her as ‘anarchist’ and the like. My daughter distanced herself from certain positions some time ago. She is an anti-fascist, period”, she concluded.
“We were all struck by what happened yesterday, even though llaria had already told how she was being transported to court. With chains, pulled by prison guards in riot gear. Ilaria is strong, she tries to react. She was smiling because for the first once she saw her friends, her parents. She saw me. I was never able to get an interview with her before”, Eugenio Losco, the lawyer of Ilaria Salis, told “The Breakfast Club” on Radio Capital. 39-year-old detained since February in a prison in Budapest, accused of attacking two neo-Nazi militants during a demonstration. “The problem is that the hearing was moved to May, there was also talk of hearings in October. There is a risk that this trial will not end by 2024. And for the moment his pre-trial detention in prison has been confirmed until the end of the first degree trial. It is unacceptable” the lawyer Losco denounced, adding: “the conditions in the prison continue to be inhumane and degrading. They do not comply with European regulations. Ilaria confirmed to us yesterday that there continue to be cockroaches in the the cell where he sleeps, bugs in the bed and mice in the common areas. He only has one hour of air a day, in a tiny courtyard with a grate above it.”
“We have been asking for an intervention from the Italian government for months – continued the lawyer – the time for appeals is over. We need the government’s help to bring her home and it can be done: European regulations allow a person who belongs to the European community to have house arrest in his country of residence. And for this reason, government intervention is needed to assure the Hungarian authorities that the necessary checks will be carried out to avoid the risk of flight that Hungary continues to face. I am very worried – admits Losco – I trust in the ministerial intervention. But the ball is now in the hands of the Hungarian court which has shown extreme harshness”.