Italian court throws out case alleging early pandemic mismanagement by ex-premier, ex-minister

June 8, 2023  -MILAN (AP) — A special Italian court has shut down a probe into whether the country’s former premier and former health minister caused unnecessary deaths by failing to extend a lockdown zone in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Court of Ministers in Brescia threw out the case against ex-Premier Giuseppe Conte and ex-Health Minister Roberto Speranza on Wednesday.

The investigation alleged errors were made in not extending a “red zone,” initially imposed on a limited number of towns in northern Italy’s Lombardy and Veneto regions, to neighboring Bergamo as the number of deaths there skyrocketed.

Both officials have said they acted according to scientific knowledge and expert opinion available at the time.

Conte told RAI state TV that the court’s decision “comforts me.”

“We were facing a virus that by then was galloping, and within a few days we made the decision to close other regions in a very strict way,” Conte said, adding that the court’s decision also made clear that the government made a reasonable call given the data available.

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