Italian teacher held in Hungary for alleged assault released after being elected MEP


  • World
  • Friday, 14 Jun 2024

FILE PHOTO: Italian teacher Ilaria Salis, facing charges for taking part in an anti-fascist assault on far-right activists, gestures as she appears in court, in Budapest, Hungary May 24, 2024. REUTERS/Marton Monus/File Photo

BUDAPEST (Reuters) -Italian anti-fascist activist Ilaria Salis was released from house arrest in Budapest after she was elected a member of the European Parliament at the weekend, her lawyer Gyorgy Magyar told Reuters on Friday.

Members of the European Parliament enjoy strong legal immunity from prosecution, even if the allegations relate to offences committed before their election.

The 39-year-old teacher was charged in Hungary with taking part in an anti-fascist group's assaults on people they viewed as far-right activists.

Police have already removed the electronic bracelet from Salis's ankle, the lawyer said. Salis's father was expected to arrive in Budapest later in the day to take her back to Italy, Magyar added.

Salis has been held in Hungary for more than a year in a case that prompted the Italian Green and Left Alliance to nominate her among their candidates at the European ballot.

Her case drew outrage in Italy in February, after she was led into a court hearing with her feet and hands bound and a chain around her waist.

The issue is politically sensitive due to the longstanding ties between Italy's right-wing prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, and her Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orban.

(Reporting by Anita Komuves; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Alex Richardson)

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