FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) - Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Monday his parents had been placed under house arrest following an investigation into alleged corruption.
In a statement posted on Facebook, the centre-left leader said his parents Tiziano Renzi and Laura Bovoli were being victimised because of his own political activities.
“People who have read the (investigative) papers assure me they have never seen such an absurd or disproportionate measure,” Renzi wrote, referring to the house arrest.
“If I hadn’t entered politics, my family would not have been buried under this mud,” he added.
There was no immediate comment from either the magistrates or Renzi’s parents.
A judicial source told Reuters that the couple, who are both in their 70s, faced accusations of fraudulent bankruptcy following the collapse of two small co-operative businesses and of issuing false invoices in the name of a third company.
A legal source, who declined to be named, said finance police visited the Renzi household in the central Tuscany region on Monday afternoon to issue the house-arrest order.
Tiziano Renzi is a businessman and former local politician with the now defunct Christian Democrat party in the town of Rignano sull’Arno, near Florence.
He has run into several legal woes since his son became prime minister in 2014, causing embarrassment to the centre-left leader and giving ammunition to his many political opponents.
Last year Tiziano Renzi and his wife were sent to trial for allegedly issuing bogus invoices for their companies. The case was due to be heard next month. They have denied any wrongdoing.
Renzi left high office in December 2016. Last week he published a book on his time as prime minister and was in Turin on Monday for a presentation when news of the house arrest broke. He immediately cancelled the event.
“If anyone thinks they can use the justice system to eliminate a political adversary, then they have got the wrong person,” wrote Renzi, who is now a senator. He did not say who in particular he blamed for the scandals.
Far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini issued a brief statement about the case. “Renzi’s parents arrested? Nothing to celebrate.”
Reporting by Silvia Ognibene; Writing by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Hugh Lawson