Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018

Police used 'repugnant' force on G8 protestors says court


(see related story on site).
(ANSA) - Rome, October 2 - Police used "repugnant" levels of
force on anti-globalization demonstrators at the 2001 Group of
Eight summit in Genoa, blackening Italy's image in the process,
the country's top appeals court said Tuesday.
"The extent of the violence was found, in the end, to be
repugnant," the Cassation Court said in its 186-page written
ruling in the case, released Tuesday to explain a verdict handed
down July 13.
Three people were left comatose and 26 were hospitalized
after police in riot gear raided a school used by the
anti-globalist protests as their sleeping quarters.
Police used "military-style" tactics, sending in 500 police
to take the school, although demonstrators had no weapons, the
court said in upholding and even increasing prison sentences
against senior officers.
Although demonstrators were asleep when the raid began,
police struck motionless forms with their batons, as well as
with kicks and punches, ignoring cries that the group was
non-violent, says the court.
Police even denigrated the demonstrators, cursing them as
Police were ordered to take on the demonstrators to make up
for their failure to stop rampages that devastated the port
city, the court concluded.
It said former national police chief Gianni De Gennaro, one
of the few senior officers to be acquitted at the end of the
appeals process, had demanded arrests "to redeem the image of
the police from charges of inertia," the court said.
"This (demand) ended up taking precedence over making sure
the search (of the school) was successful," the Cassation judges
The high court especially condemned the riot police and
their leader, former flying squad chief Vincenzo Canterini of
Rome, who was supposed to secure the school, but instead
unleashed "reckless" violence.
Canterini, one of the highest-ranking officers convicted in
2008, saw his jail term lengthened from four to five years in
2010 - though like the others his conviction was timed out and
he was disbarred rather than going to jail.
At the Diaz school, police arrested 93 protesters,
including British, French, German and other non-Italian
nationals, and injured 87.
The appeals judges found that the senior officials ordered
the raid, overruling the conclusion of the 2008 judges who ruled
the police acted on their own without instructions from their
In its July final ruling, the court upheld and extended
various sentences.
But all the jail sentences were timed out, meaning that the
stiffest penalty for several top officers was to be barred from
the police force - resulting in what the Italian media called a
"decapitation" of the police force.
In the first appeals trial in June 2010 top officers
Francesco Guatteri and Giovanni Luperi were given four years in
jail for the raid.
Both had been cleared at the original trial in 2008.
The head of the security police in Genoa at the time,
Spartaco Mortola, also cleared at the original trial, was given
three years eight months in jail by the top court.
The 13 police agents convicted of brutality in 2008 saw
their sentences raised from three to four years.

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