A short introduction to Italian Criminal Law

In Italy, if you are suspected, accused and tried of bribery of businesses, politicians, judges and the tax authorities, Mafia connections, false accounting, false testimony, soliciting prostitution from underage girls, tax evasion, embezzlement, antitrust violations, drug trafficking, abuse of political office you don’t need to worry: Nothing will happen to you.

If you are an attractive young woman, you may be arrested at first, but you will eventually go free.

If you are a scientist doing your job, you will go to prison for a long time.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Italy, Law and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to A short introduction to Italian Criminal Law

  1. Very superficial conclusion, do you REALLY know WHY these scientifics have been condemned??? Do some more accurate researchs on the topic, you might find you jumped into conclusions a little bit too fast..

    • This is the first I have heard of this sentence, though I was aware there were investigations ongoing. Jerome, may I ask the specifics of why these men were sentenced? I know of the basics of the case, but doing any kind of prediction work with earthquakes is a VERY difficult process – the US Geological Survey lost one of their own, because they couldn’t predict when Mount St. Helens would blow – leaving the man in the “danger zone”. Were these people sentenced because they didn’t accurately predict the quake, or was it that they gave extreme assurances that a quake would NOT happen?

    • The scientists were convicted because of “giving falsely reassuring” statements after smaller tremors in the months before the earthquake. Which in my view will now lead to every scientist in Italy predicting a huge earthquake (and a flood and a volcano eruption) every day. For a week, people will listen and then they won’t – even on the one occasion of a serious prediction. And this doesn’t even take into account that we CAN’T PREDICT earthquakes.

    • Anonymous says:

      ma smettila pirla…eri più interessante come cascamorto con la chitarra nmano,,,

  2. Ask somebody to traduce this telephone conversation. Police was investigating on Bertolaso, a powerfull political figure near Berlusconi, for some corruption stories when they came to spy this phone call: it’s Bertolaso giving order to his secretary to tell earthquake scientifics to go to l’Aquila and tell local population that there was no risk of any major earthquake. A week later that’s what they actually did in front of local TVs. There had been since a month something like a hundred small earthquakes in l’Aquila (15 per day, no damage but still very stressing), so local population was very worried, lots of people would sleep in their cars at night, some were thinking of leaving for a while but then decided to stay after the scientists declared on TV that there were basicly NO risk, and some of them actually died because of this decision, since 9 days later a major earthquake DID occured…. Judges did NOT condemn the scientists for not predicting the earthquake, but for taking a big responsability declaring the region riskfree without any scientific evidences, the only true reason being political pressures from Bertolaso/Berlusconi…

    • Thanks for that enlightening information!

    • you’re welcome! But your right, stupid consequence of this story will be that from now on
      every scientist in Italy will be predicting huge earthquakes…

    • Thanks from me as well, Jerome. And amen to your statement, Andreas – it is indeed impossible to even predict within MONTHS when an earthquake MIGHT hit, much less more specific time frames within days or even hours. For comparison of the “cry wolf” syndrome, you might want to look at the number of Pacific and Indian Ocean underwater quakes that have forced “no danger” statements from the group running the tsunami warning center put in after the 2004 “Boxing Day” quake and tsunami.
      Oh, and one thing, Jerome. Your translation is coming out as “scientifics” when I believe you mean “scientists”. Not sure which translator you might be using (including your own education), and I mean no insult or criticism, but I find feedback often helps!
      Thanks again!

  3. My wife and I discussed this today. That poor guy was born with the wrong plumbing!

  4. Zio Alberto says:

    Don’t you worry Andreas, even if you are a mediocre blogger we won’t arrest you….
    Just kidding mate, I love your blog. :)

    Nonetheless, my personal opinion is that media / public opinion / politics wanted to have somebody to blame for the Aquila disaster and given the impossibility to take to justice the very people who are guilty (the ones that built, engineered, allowed, fail to control, got bribed for the non-anti-earthquake structures) they blamed the scientist who “reassured” everybody.

    Here follows my point: what if the scientist would then had said “THERE WILL BE A TREMENDOUS EARTHQUAKE”?

    Do we think that the authorities would had the cities evacuated?
    Do we think that the people would had left their homes?

    I don’t think so.

    So, since we cannot predict Earthquakes the scientist should truly be convicted, but for hoaxing or “magic mystification”.

    My god I cannot write in proper English anymore. :(

  5. Hello Andreas.

    This is one of your best posts so far.

    I have been following your digest since you nearly came to live in Ireland. Having followed you ever since then, it is one of my regrets that you did not come to Ireland. Hopefuly sometime in the future. You are welcome.

    • Hello Simon, yes, I sometimes still think of how I would have enjoyed Ireland. But then Malta and now Lithuania have also been very beautiful. I am off to a short trip to Estonia tomorrow. Next year I may come back to the UK for a few months and then I would love to come to Ireland for a while.

    • Looking forward to your review of Estonia and thanks for this blog entry too!

  6. LILYBETS says:

    Facile generalizzare, ma sia il caro Politico di cui siamo davvero stanchi sia scienziati molto preparati non sono solo spazzatura o oro colato.Bisogna valutare caso per caso.

Please leave your comments, questions, suggestions:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s