In a victory for Italian adulterers, the country's Supreme Court has ruled that it is acceptable for wives to lie in order to cover up an affair.
The court said that a 48-year-old woman from Orbetello in Tuscany, named only as Carla, was within her rights to lie to police over having a lover.
The case arose when her boyfriend, Giovanni, was arrested by police for making abusive phone calls to her husband, Vincenzo.
When the police asked Carla whether she had lent her mobile phone to her lover, she said she did not have a lover and that she had not lent him her phone.
In court, her lawyers argued that she was trying "to save herself from a grave and inevitable stain on her honour".
Her defence said that she was in the process of separating from her husband and that the admission that she had taken a lover could be used in the divorce proceedings against her.
"Her husband has already threatened to bring up testimonies from lovers against her," said her lawyer.
The judges of the Supreme Court agreed, saying that "the fact of having an affair is a circumstance that could cause damage to her honour in the minds of her family and friends."
They added: "It is clear that one does not deny the loan of a mobile phone to police unless one has a serious reason to do so."
The Supreme Court, which is made up of elderly male judges, regularly causes uproar with its controversial judgements. They include the ruling, which was later rescinded, that a woman could not be raped if she was wearing tight jeans, since they could only be removed with her consent.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
The Italian Approach
This will, no doubt, become a classic example of the difference between the Italian and the 'Anglo-Saxon' approach to morality and law: