Judge reinstates race jibe politician

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iol news pic Cecile Kyenge

REUTERS

Italian Minister for Integration Cecile Kyenge gestures during a news conference in Rome in this June 19, 2013 file photo.The newspaper of Italy's anti-immigrant Northern League party has come under fire for a reported new feature listing the daily whereabouts of the country's first black Cabinet minister. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/Files

Rome -

A district councillor from northern Italy who was fired from his job as a bus driver after writing on Facebook that a black former government minister should “go back to the jungle” was given his job back on Wednesday.

Labour judge Giorgio Flaim ruled that the punishment against Paolo Serafini went too far.

He ordered local bus company Trentino Trasporti to reimburse the man for the wages he missed since his dismissal in October.

Serafini, elected for the far-right Northern League party, had targeted Congo-born Cecile Kyenge, who called for more open migration and citizenship policies while serving as integration minister from April 2013 to February.

Earlier this year, Serafini was convicted of aggravated slander, fined 2 500 euros (3 400 dollars), and ordered to pay 10 000 euros in compensation to plaintiffs and 5 500 euros in legal fees.

Kyenge, Italy's first black cabinet member, faced a torrent of racist abuse while in office.

In the most infamous incident, a leading Northern League politician compared her to an orangutan.

She is now a member of the European Parliament. - Sapa-dpa


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