An Italian parliamentary committee has begun an investigation into the spread of disinformation, reportedly amid suspicions that some Russian commentators hosted on television networks could be on Vladimir Putin’s payroll.
The probe by Copasir, a parliamentary committee for the security of Italy, was triggered after an outcry over a recent interview with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on Rete 4, a channel operated by the privately owned Mediaset.
Enrico Borghi, a member of Copasir and politician with the centre-left Democratic party, confirmed an investigation was under way but would neither confirm nor deny a report in la Repubblica on Monday that at least three unnamed Russian guests on Italian TV were on the Kremlin’s payroll.
Lavrov’s interview on 1 May, prompted a diplomatic row with Israel after the minister claimed that Adolf Hitler “had Jewish blood”. The screening coincided with the appearance of the prominent pro-Kremlin journalist, Vladimir Solovyev, on the rival channel, La7.