Security


Italy: Court rejects stiffer sentences for immigrants




Rome, 11 June (AKI) - Italy's constitutional court has rejected controversial legislation imposing stiffer penalties on illegal immigrants who commit crimes in Italy. A majority of court judges late on Thursday ruled it is unconstitutional to hand down prison sentences and fines three times more severe for illegal immigrants found guilty of crimes.

But the court judges upheld the constitutionality of another law passed by Italy's conservative government in July last year that made illegal immigration a crime punishable with a fine of 5,000-10,000 euros.

The reasoning behind the ruling will be released by the court later this month.

The Italian government has vowed to crack down on illegal immigration.

Legislation passed last July also tripled the amount of time illegal immigrants can be detained in holding centres from two to six months and approved citizen anti-crime patrols in towns and cities.

Anyone renting housing to an illegal immigrant faces up to three years in prison.

Critics of the measures allege the citizen patrols would amount to vigilante groups who are likely to harass foreigners.




 

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