Monday, 12 November 2007


Luckily I have no work to do today so am busily updating my blog instead. Well, there is heaps of work I *could* be doing, but nowt with an immediate deadline.

The crucial issue of what actually happened is still unresolved. An autopsy is being carried out today as well as further searches around the area and detailed ballistics work.

Various versions of events are circulating.

What seems clear is this. The highway patrol car was driving along the opposite carriageway, and pulled over. A car was about to pull away from the service station. Luigi Spaccatorella, the officer involved, whose name has just been released, got out of his car and two shots were fired by his gun, one of which hit Sandri who was in his car.

Thereafter things get hazy.

He claims that he fired one warning shot in the air, and then the other was fired accidentally as he ran along the central reservation, seeking to cross over to the service station. "I was running, I didn't take aim. I have ruined two families, his and my own."

According to sources at la Repubblica though he may well have taken aim. Thinking perhaps that a robbery was underway - as is usual, the ultras weren't wearing colours, and he didn't realise they ultras, he tried to halt the car, perhaps using his siren to try to stop them. When they didn't stop, he fired on the vehicle.

Some of the ultras at the service station have added that the car was nowhere near the small ruck which was ongoing, or which may have even already ended.

Spaccatorella, who has over ten years' experience in his job, and his married with children, is now under official investigation for manslaughter (omicidio colposo) which carries a maximum 5 year term. He has been reassigned to 'internal duties', whatever they may be.

Meanwhile, in other rather extraordinary news, the arrested thugs from last night's rioting in Rome, are to be charged under terrorism legislation rather than, say, for breach of the peace or violent conduct. It remains to be seen whether this will hold up under judicial scrutiny (always presupposing the existence of such a quality here).

Political mudslinging is gathering pace. Many on the right are demanding the resignation of Giuliano Amato, pointing out (somewhat unarguably) that he is failing to keep the peace, and his 8 month old legislation is a shambolic disaster. Meanwhile on the left people have pointed out that collaboration between Lazio and Roma ultras tends to be based around Forza Nuova and Alleanza Nazionale (this latter to a lesser degree, in my view) and football violence here in the capital is not only strongly politicised but is frequently tied up with the extreme right. (Though were that leaves the famoulsy left-wing Bergamaschi of Atalanta I'm not sure). Sigh. More petty pointscoring, less concrete change.


Bossy Boyfriend said...

I think it would be a good idea to collate these blog posts and to make them into an article.


ursus arctos said...

He's right, you know.

In other news, the chief of police in Arezzo is in the midst of a press conference in which he is basically contradicting everything he said last night.

The highlight so far is the statement that the cop "probably aimed at the tyres, but doing so was very dangerous". He has also said that while the police currently intend to challenge the manslaughter charge, "there may be an evolution of that position".

There is also an eyewitness who has told Repubblica that he saw the cop fire with the gun with both hands and his arms fully extended.

Everything that has come out this morning indicates that the Repubblica sources almost certainly got it right, as least as to the facts. Only the cop himself can explain why he fired as he did.