ROME (May. 14)
The Italian Senate has stripped the parliamentary immunity from two of its neo-fascist members, making them liable to action in criminal courts. Parliamentary sources said yesterday that Friday’s Senate action probably will be repeated in the Chamber of Deputies within the next few days, where action is pending against several members of the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI) including the Party’s leader, Giorgio Almirante.
The Party has 26 members in the Senate and 56 in the Chamber of Deputies. It gained 2.8 million votes in the May 1972 national elections, making it the country’s fourth-largest political force. The judiciary has sent parliament about 60 requests to start court action against MSI Senators and Deputies, either for alleged common crimes or under a law which bans the re surgence of fascism under any shape or name.
One of those who lost their immunity in the Senate was Francesco (Ciccio) Franco, the burly and balding leader of the 1971 revolt against the central government in the southern city of Reggio Calabria. The revolt started when the government made another city. Catanzaro, the capital of the new Calabria regional administration. Franco was to have been the principal speaker at a neo-fascist rally in Milan last month which, banned by police turned into a full-scale riot. A policeman was killed by a hand-grenade during the riot.
Magistrates still are studying action against Franco and other neo-fascist leaders for their alleged part in inciting the riot. Franco, who was elected with some 49,000 votes and the financial backing of wealthy southern shipowners and landlords, now faces charges connected with the Reggio Calabria uprising and attempts to bomb trains carrying left-wing workers to a rally in that city last Oct.
The other Senator who lost his parliamentary immunity was Giorgio Pisano, who is accused of writing defaming articles against other Senators in a radical right-wing magazine. “Candido.” During a rowdy parliamentary debate on neo-fascism last Thursday, Premier Giulio Andreotti said his government was willing to take action if necessary but declared that at this stage the task of preventing a resurgence of fascism should more properly be left to the courts.