ROME, Oct 19 (Reuters) – An Italian appeals court has acquitted the parents of former prime minister Matteo Renzi on charges of issuing false invoices.
The court ruled late on Tuesday that no crime had been committed, a development that Renzi applauded online.
“After years of struggle and pain, my parents were acquitted,” Renzi said in a tweet. “I do not wish anyone to live through what my parents had to live through, they did not deserve so much hate. Justice has won,” he said.
Renzi led a centre-left government from 2014 to 2016, then founded the centrist party Italia Viva. At the last national election on Sept. 25, Renzi teamed up with the Azione party led by Carlo Calenda and got about 8% of the vote.
In 2019, a lower court found Tiziano Renzi and Laura Bovoli, who are both in their 70s, guilty of issuing fake invoices for a total of 160,000 euros ($176,000) in 2015 through two small companies. They were given suspended prison terms of one year and nine months.
The couple denied the charges and appealed the verdict.
The lower court handed a third defendant, businessman Luigi Dagostino, a two-year term for having accepted bogus invoices. The appeals court reduced the sentence to nine months.
Reporting by Francesca Piscioneri, editing by Gerry Doyle
PHOTO: Italian Senator for the Democratic Party and former President of the Council of Ministers, Matteo Renzi. EPA-EFE/ANGELO CARCONI