FACT CHECK: Did The Italian Parliament Call For The Arrest Of Bill Gates?
The headline of an article shared on Facebook claims the Italian Parliament has called for the arrest of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
A single member of parliament appeared to suggest Gates should be arrested. There is no evidence that the entire Italian Parliament supports such a move.
The website Live 24 published the article with the headline “Italian Parliament Calls For The Arrest Of Bill Gates” on May 15. Yet, while the headline suggested the entire Italian legislative branch called for his arrest, the actual article only mentions one member of parliament suggesting such a move.
“Sara Cunial who is a member of the Italian Parliament has delivered a controversial speed (sic) where she is calling for the arrest of Bill Gates,” reads the opening line. (RELATED: ‘Our Only Hope Remains Up In The Sky’ – Did Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Say This Quote About Coronavirus?)
Italian politician Sara Cunial did suggest Gates should face charges for alleged “crimes against humanity” during a conspiracy theory-filled speech at Parliament in early May, according to multiple media reports. In closing, she said, “Dear President Conte, next time you receive a phone call from the ‘philanthropist’ Bill Gates, forward it directly to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity,” according to a translation.
But there is no evidence that her position was endorsed by the rest of the Italian Parliament, as suggested by the headline. In the video of Cunial’s speech, other members of parliament can be heard interrupting with what seem to be verbal objections.
Cunial belongs to Italy’s Five Star Movement, a political party that, per The New York Times, has opposed vaccines. In 2018, she was briefly suspended from the party after likening vaccines to “free genocide” in a Facebook post, according to the International Business Times.
In recent months, Gates has become the subject of multiple conspiracy theories, including debunked claims about him “creating COVID-19 in order to profit from a vaccine, or of Gates being a member of a plot to cull humanity and/or implement a global surveillance system,” The Verge reported.
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