Court says military police can't have lovers

ROME Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:59pm EDT

Carabinieri military police patrol the entrance of the ''Olga Rovere'' nursery school at Rignano Flaminio, 25 miles north of Rome, May 11, 2007. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Carabinieri military police patrol the entrance of the ''Olga Rovere'' nursery school at Rignano Flaminio, 25 miles north of Rome, May 11, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Max Rossi

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ROME (Reuters) - Italy's highest court has ruled that the nation's paramilitary police, the Carabinieri, must not have extra-marital affairs to avoid sullying the force's name.

The ruling stemmed from one Carabiniere's appeal against a lower court ruling sentencing him to four months in jail for insulting and threatening to throw a desk at his boss, who had asked the policeman to break off an affair with a married woman.

Italy's Court of Cassation agreed that any affair is a private matter, but noted that the military police were called to "exemplary conduct and could not bring discredit to the armed forces with extra-marital relationships."

The Carabinieri, Italy's gendarmerie, are the most prominent of several national police forces. Their motto is "Faithful through the centuries."

(Reporting by Deepa Babington; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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