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Sunday, 17 September, 2000, 08:56 GMT 09:56 UK
Lecturer's 'gagging' claim upheld
David Petrie in a bar
David Petrie has had a 13-year battle
A Scots-born lecturer has won the latest round in his fight over discrimination at the hands of the Italian Government.

The European Ombudsman has upheld a complaint lodged by David Petrie who alleged the European Commission "silently abandoned" his case after secret meetings with the Italian authorities.

Mr Petrie, from Dumbarton, has been fighting a 13-year battle with the Italians on behalf of foreign lecturers.

He claims the universities have been refusing to consider foreigners for full time posts and denying them equal pay.

Discrimination case

The European Commission agreed to look into the case and an action is now underway in the European Court of Justice.

Mr Petrie claimed, however, he had also been "gagged" by a behind-the-scenes deal between the European Commission and the Italian Government.

The European Ombudsman has upheld his complaint.

In June, the Italian supreme court ruled that Mr Petrie, who was sacked more than three years ago, should be reinstated.

He had maintained that the universities had openly flouted laws banning discrimination on the grounds of nationality.

The decision meant Mr Petrie was given his job back, along with pay for the preceding four years.

Eleven other lecturers also benefited from the case.

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