Monday, March 10, 2008

Court: Perjury Fine If Done To Preserve Honour

Fascinating. And a stunning legal precedent to boot.

Here are the bare facts of the case: a woman was charged for giving false testimony after being caught lying about having lent her cellphone to a lover. In response, the Italian Court of Appeal has ruled that "bending the truth was justified to conceal extra-marital relationships."

The woman who brought the appeal was from Porto Ercole on the Tuscany coast, and named only as Carla.

She had lent her telephone to her secret lover, Giovanni, who then used it to call Carla's estranged husband, Vincenzo, and insult him.

Giovanni, the lover, was convicted of abusive behaviour in a local court, and Carla convicted as an accessory.

Well, geez. Giovanni's just the best secret lover ever.

But the Court of Cassation found that having a lover was a circumstance that damaged the honour of the person among family and friends.

Lying about it, therefore, was permitted, even in a judicial investigation.

It is not yet clear whether the ruling might also apply to men who have secret mistresses.

This isn't the first we've heard of these zany Italian justices. Awhile back this same court ruled that women could not be considered "raped" if they were wearing tight jeans at the time of the incident since jeans these days are difficult to get off and the complicated process of their removal implies consent.

So let's see how Italy's doing. Rape? Legal. Perjury? Legal. Nah, they're doing fine.

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