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Thursday, October 22, 2015, Kartik 7, 1422 BS, Muharram 8, 1437 Hijr

Italian court clears writer for getting violent for environment
Published :Thursday, 22 October, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 11

An Italian court on Monday cleared activist writer Erri De Luca of allegations that he had incited crime by saying in an interview that a controversial high-speed train line cutting through the Alps should be sabotaged.
The case against the Naples-born award winning author had roused a chorus of support from environmentalists and fellow writers and was seen as a test case of freedom of expression in Italy and the final declaration was cheered throughout the courtroom. The planned new line connecting the northern Italian city of Turin with Lyon in east-central France would include a 57-km (35 mile) tunnel.
De Luca, 65 supports a movement that is virulently opposed to a planned high-speed train line, known as the TAV, which will cross the picturesque Susa Valley in the Italian Alps.
In 2013, after the arrest of two activists who had petrol bombs and shears in their car, De Luca told the Huffington Post, "The TAV should be sabotaged. This is why shears were necessary. They are useful to cut fences." In response, LTF, the Franco-Italian company set up to do preliminary work on the line, filed a charge arguing that such a statement from a famous person like De Luca increased the risks faced by their employees. Some of its staff had already received death threats, it said.
As Monday's hearing began, De Luca repeated his opposition to the proposed rail link. He added that, even if he weren't the accused, he would have come to the court to witness "an experiment, an attempt to silence dissenting words in the west". De Luca, who was part of the now-defunct Lotta Continua (Continuous Struggle) revolutionary group in the 1970s and 1980s, says the plan to drill a tunnel through the Alps would release asbestos and radioactive deposits.
LTF has said that the project is environment-secure. The construction will star in 2016 fifteen years after signing of contract.
    ?The Guardian

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