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Italy investigates Placebo frontman over calling Giorgia Meloni ‘fascist’

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Italy investigates Placebo frontman over calling Giorgia Meloni ‘fascist’
Placebo singer Brian Molko is to be investigated by Italian prosecutors over insults levelled at Italy's prime minister. (Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP)

Italian prosecutors have opened an investigation against the lead singer of British group Placebo after he called Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni "racist" and "fascist" during a concert, media reported on Tuesday.

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Brian Molko, 50, was performing last week with the band at the Sonic Park festival in Stupinigi outside Turin when he hurled insults from the stage about Italy's prime minister.

"Giorgia Meloni, piece of shit, fascist, racist", Molko yelled in Italian, as seen in fan videos from the concert posted on social media.

Prosecutors in Turin did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

Meloni heads the far-right Brothers of Italy party and leads Italy's most hard-right coalition government since World War II.

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Italy's criminal code allows for fines of between 1,000 and 5,000 euros for anyone who "publicly defames the Republic" including the government, parliament, the courts and the army.

Meloni herself has used Italy’s anti-defamation laws to sue prominent journalist Roberto Saviano for calling her a “bastard” in a television interview in 2020.

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