The Keeper of the Seals is in a storm, but he is only putting into practice the ideas he has always expressed. Even in writing
Interceptions, separation of careers, 41 bis, CSM and currents of the judiciary: the need to reform justice ignites heated discussions, not only on a very delicate case like that of the anarchist Alfredo Cospito. The Minister of Justice Charles Nordio ends up in a vice, squeezed between the petition for his resignation launched by Daily fact and the tepid defense by the centre-right, which fueled rumors about the possible resignation of the Keeper of the Seals.
In this scenario, the interview of Affaritaliani.it with the criminal lawyer Mirko Mazzali, notoriously left-wing yet completely aligned with the positions of the minister who a year ago Giorgia Meloni he had indicated as a “flagship” candidate for the Quirinale.
Yet, it was all already written. Literally: just go and look for it “Waiting for justice – Dialogue on possible reforms” (Ed. Guerini e Associati, 192 pages, 18.50 euros), a book published in 2010 by Nordio himself, paired with Giuliano Pisapia. That’s right: a year before becoming Mayor of Milan, the former Rifondazione Comunista parliamentarian, as well as a criminal lawyer, publicly expressed a project shared with Nordio, despite their different political orientation.
The authors themselves underlined the heterogeneity of ends: “We come from cultures and professional experiences that are not exactly opposite, but certainly different: a lawyer politically committed to the left, and a public prosecutor refractory to any political position but certainly liberal and moderate. We both held the same role, the presidency of a ministerial commission for the reform of the penal code, on behalf of two different governments. At the end of the respective experiences, we both arrived at the same diagnosis and even the therapies have many similar points. Sign that to address justice issues it is possible to follow a common road”.
“Eavesdropping is expensive and harmful”
The book is divided into two parts. In the first there is a precise analysis of what are defined as “the most lacerating contradictions of an almost decrepit system, the cumbersome Byzantinisms of the judicial machine; the waste of the meager resources available; the cruel invasiveness of interceptions; the uncertainty of the penalty and the iniquity of preventive detention; the schizophrenic oscillation between indulgent do-gooders and rigorous safety packages”. In the second, we get to the heart of the reform proposals and you really already find everything that today arouses amazement and bewilderment: from the mandatory nature of criminal action (which for Nordio engulfs the times of justice, while for Pisapia it is a cornerstone) to parliamentary immunity, up to the revision of the Constitution, desired in particular by the current minister.
Of course, upon rereading today, the “hottest” pages are those on interceptions. Albeit with different nuances (Nordio more severe, Pisapia more optimistic), the two jurists express a truly clear-cut position: “The painful reality is that telephone and environmental interceptions are useful (and perhaps indispensable) to a small extent, but on the whole they are expensive and harmful. Expensive, because they weigh hundreds of millions of euros on the already meager budget of justice. Harmful, for the citizen who suffers harassing intrusions, and for the investigator who flatters on their easy execution, giving up more complex, but also more reliable tools”, writes Nordio.
“Their odious connotation derives not so much from the clandestine interference in the sacredness of the individual sphere, but rather from the selective manipulation to which they are subject. Those who have these dialogues can choose with a good dose of discretion whether to filter them, to what extent and with what frequency, perhaps by applying Richelieu’s mangy logic: give me a letter with a pair of scissors and I’ll have the author hanged. By cutting and pasting our words, each of us can appear to be a raving lunatic, a slimy pervert, a dangerous arsonist, or all three.”
“Interceptions should not be abolished, but limited”
Pisapia prudently invites “not to throw the baby away with the bathwater” underlining that “abolish wiretapping it is a masochistic solution for justice, even if it is difficult to avoid that they often end up on the (virtual) media square”. Nordio is instead more categorical: “Wiretapping is a necessary evil. Necessary for investigations, they are however pernicious to citizens, because they violate art. 15 of the Constitution, which establishes that ‘the freedom and secrecy of all forms of communication are inviolable’. As a necessary evil, they should be limited and exceptional, instead they proliferate with enormous economic and organizational costs. Then, at the right time (for some), they are cyclically published with wise and programmed treachery. Everyone has fallen victim to it: politicians, religious people, entrepreneurs, magistrates, men of science, entertainers and, more generally, famous people. And tomorrow who knows whose turn it will be”.
On this point, the opinion of the two authoritative jurists is consolidated and Nordio explains very clearly: “Eavesdropping they must not be abolishedbut relegated to the most subtle and ambiguous tools, such as anonymous letters and spying on confidants: sometimes fertile excrements but always secret, which do not enter, nor can enter, in the trial files”.
We leave the possibility of deepening the theme to the experts of the subject by reading the rest of the book, in which Nordio and Pisapia talk with the publisher Angelo Guerini, preceded by a substantial preface by Sergio Romano, which reads, among other things, that the suggestions of the two jurists “were not listened to because the political class has other concerns. Instead of working on the medium and long term for the renewal of the penal system, he prefers to live from day to day following the moods of public opinion or the appeals from beyond the Tiber”.
What really matters is the unfortunate epiphany of those who only today discover the positions that Nordio had put on paper 13 years ago, moreover obtaining transversal acclaim such as precisely that of Pisapia. Was it possible that whoever bet on him hadn’t read his books or at least his numerous interviews and interventions in public debates? Certainly not. So what else could be expected from those who have always made guaranteeism their flag?
Perhaps the only plausible explanation is provided by Nordio himself, describing himself in the above text as “refractory of any political collocation”: when you leave the role of technician to enter the political arena everything changes, the logics are different and therefore it is not so infrequent to clash with those who are part of your team, perhaps immediately after having received a sporting applause from your opponent.
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