Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Judicial Aftermath so far: arrests and investigations

So, a quick round up of the legal stuff.

In Rome, of the 3 men and one woman (3 laziali, 1 romanista, of whom one is in the navy) originally under investigation for 'terrorism', only two are still facing this charge. Essentially this is the kind of application of anti-terror legislation which civil liberties supporters the world over have been fearing, but that's another story. The use of this law covers incitement to commit violence and the charge indicates the police's belief that the riots were to some extent organised and directed, possibly by people with links to our old friends Forza Nuova. So perhaps my paranoid suspicions weren't so paranoid after all. I feel simultaneously vindicated and depressed by this discovery. As a general rule of thumb, when talking about Italian politics, society or culture: yes there's always something behind the surface, yes there's always some kind of cover-up, always be suspicious, and accept that you will never ever know the full truth. In some ways, the rather spurious use of the terrorism charge could be a good thing, since it acknowledges the political dimension to the problem rather than sweeping it under the carpet in the traditional fashion.

Anyway. There have also been, at last count, 10 arrests in Milan (both milanisti & interisti, from all accounts), another 10 in Bergamo and 9 in Taranto. Offences range from violation of banning orders, to being caught in the act of graffiti-ing anti-police exhortations to violence around the San Siro. Others have been identified via CCTV. In Milan two of the arrested Interisti are noted for their far right links, including an 18 year old with links to.... yes, it's Forza Nuova again; and whose first arrest for violent disorder dates back almost 2 years. Of the Bergamaschi, 3 presented themselves spontaneously at the local police office rather than waiting to be singled out; a 52-yr-old lifelong ultra leader is among the Atalantini currently under arrest. The arrests in Puglia were based on CCTV footage of the Taranto curva; one of the nine is the son of a policeman.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the fatal shooting continues. It's been hard to tell what's been going on since the police have changed their story every 2 minutes, it's been almost as bad as the changing stories of the suspects in the nasty Perugia murder.

The autopsy however has confirmed the story given by several eyewitnesses that the shot was fired horizontally, that is directly, at person height. Some witnesses claim that the policeman took aim with both hands on his weapon, straight out in front of him. Either way, this ballistics evidence means that 'there were two warning shots fired in the air' and 'the second shot went off accidentally as I was running' seem to be out of the picture. It looks like a shot was deliberately fired at the car if nothing else, and there is the possibility that the manslaughter charge could be raised to omicidio preterintenzionale, that is death caused by intentional injury - though the family's lawyer is still talking about omicidio volontario, that is murder. More as and when we have news.

[I'm aware that some of my regular readers may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all this and not totally gripped. In recompense, I offer you the news that this evening I had my first clementine of the season. It tasted of Christmas.]


egan said...

I am a regular reader, and totally gripped by all this. Thanks for writing it.

Paul de Man said...

As part of the regular readership as gripped by your cake-, shoe- and war- exploits as any others, please don't stop writing about this. Have you emailed WSComes about this article that you're writing about this yet?

Spangly Princess said...

why thank you both!

yes, already got WSC commission sorted *proud of self* and have emailed the indy & the observer.

ursus arctos said...


Later reports indicate that it may only two of the four Romans who are actually being charged under the terrorism legislation, but as you say, the flow of information is a mess.

It also seems increasingly clear the Gazzetta's reconstruction of events in yesterday's print edition (inexplicably not on line) is the essentially correct one, as it describes the cop has having run up a 6-7 metre high mound of debris from ongoing construction before firing the second shot. That would explain how the bullet was able to cross not only the six lanes of traffic, but also the central concrete barrier (which is topped by a several metre high chain link fence) without being deflected. And the word "cowboy" seems ever more apt for his actions.

It is probably also worth mentioning that the four guys in the car with Sandri who lived are now under formal investigation for "attempted bodily harm", purportedly on the basis of either one of them having kicked the Juventini's car (either before or after the car hit him with a glancing blow) or on the basis of the "weapons" allegedly found on the ground at the service station (a deadly arsenal of an umbrella or two, a pocket knife or two, and a "few rocks").

Quite a turnout at the funeral, including Totti, who is in the church.

Antonio G said...

Don't stop. Please.