CORRIERE DELLA SERA (Italy)

ROME – An Italian diplomat who was spotted last year performing on stage in a fascist rock band has been brought back from Japan, Corriere della Sera reported.

Controversy had erupted when Mario Vattani, visiting home at the time during his stint at the General Consul of Italia in Osaka, was seen singing the praises of the Italian Social Republic, the fascist regime led by Benito Mussolini. He also slammed the current Republic, which he is supposed to represent, saying the political system born in 1946 was "based on lies and cheatings' and founded by "Italian Mafiosi brought home by the Americans."

The foreign ministry employee, who was recorded on video praising the fascist regime, has to leave his position and has been suspended for a few months, but he keeps the same job rank within the administration, Corriere wrote.

The singer, whose stage name is Katanga, has filed an appeal against his suspension at the regional administrative tribunal.

Umberto Vattani, the father of Mario and himself a former ambassador, stood by his son, saying he was "the victim of a hasty trial."

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