Veneto Separatists Arrested, Accused of Terrorism
Italian police arrested on Wednesday 24 Veneto separatists, who were were accused of terrorism and subversion of the democratic order.
Twenty-seven others are investigated by the prosecution.
An Italian prosecutor said that the separatists were planning an ''insurrection'' to obtain independence for the region around Venice.
''They proposed independence from the Italian State by using violent methods and insurrection,'' said Brescia Prosecutor Tommaso Buonanno, quoted by Gazzetta Del Sud, after the arrests.
According to the police, the group was planning a protest rally at the San Marco square in Venice, with a bulldozer, transformed into something like a tank. Italian media reported the secessionists intended to deploy the vehicle on the eve of European parliamentary elections in May.
The “tank” was confiscated during the police raid.
The crackdown comes days after politicians in Veneto started formal proceedings toward independence, despite constitutional prohibitions.
Veneto's regional governor, Luca Zaia, promoted an online survey that purportedly showed overwhelming support for secession. However the Venetian daily Corriere del Veneto this week reported that of the more than 2.6 million votes in favor of secession, most were generated by computers abroad.
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