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Italy: Investigation of the Mafia Phenomenon

(Sept. 16, 2008) The Italian Parliament promulgated Law No. 132 on August 4, 2008, creating a parliamentary commission to investigate “the Mafia phenomenon” and other criminal associations, including those involving foreigners. The Law assigns to the commission the functions of:

• verifying the implementation and relevance of specified legal provisions concerning the Mafia and other criminal associations, including those provisions addressing illegal patrimony and the proceeds of Mafia-related crimes;

• evaluating the changing nature and characteristics of such organizations, their negative impact, their relationship to politics, and their attempts to infiltrate local entities;

• verifying the implementation of legislation concerning cooperating witnesses and promoting legislative and administrative initiatives to increase the efficiency of such provisions;

• submitting proposals for better coordination and relevance of state, local, and regional, initiatives; and

• submitting proposals for improving international understanding of prevention measures, promoting international agreements, and providing judicial assistance and cooperation in building an anti-Mafia space at the European Union level.

The Law also includes measures to protect the secrecy of investigations and provides sanctions for violations of secrecy. The commission must report to Parliament at the end of its investigation, or as deemed necessary, and annually. The members of the commission include 25 Senators and 25 Deputies, selected respectively by the President of the Senate of the Republic and the President of the House of Representatives. (Istituzione di una Commissione parlamentare di inchiesta sul fenomeno della mafia e sulle altre associazioni criminali, anche straniere [Creation of a Parliamentary Commission to Investigate the Phenomenon of the Mafia and Other Criminal Associations, Including Foreign Ones], 192 GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (Aug. 18, 2008), available at http://www.Parlamento.it/parlam/leggi/08132l.htm.)