Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018
ROME

Italian supreme court rules against State in Ustica crash

English
© ANSA

Rome, January 28 - A fatal domestic plane crash in
Italy over 30 years ago was caused by a missile, and the State
must pay damages to the families of all 81 victims for not
guaranteeing the safety of the skies, Italy's supreme Court of
Cassation ruled in civil proceedings Monday.
The ruling, which faulted civil and military radar systems,
is the first definitive sentence since criminal proceedings were
inconclusive.
Dossiers, books and even a film called The Rubber Wall
have been produced over the years about the mystery-shrouded
night of June 27, 1980 when a domestic airliner, belonging to
the now-defunct Itavia line, crashed into the Mediterranean on
its way from Bologna to Palermo.
International panels who examined the wreckage in the past
had arrived at differing conclusions: One said the plane had
been hit by a missile, while another thought a bomb had been
planted aboard the craft - another terrorist act similar to what
was carried out with even greater loss of life at Bologna train
station later that summer.
Magistrates and victims' relatives have suspected that the
plane may have become caught in a dogfight between NATO planes
and a Libyan jet whose wreckage was found in the southern
Italian highlands some months after the Ustica crash.
Italy has repeatedly asked NATO, and in particular the
United States and France, for full cooperation in clearing up
the incident.
According to reconstructions of the event contained in
fictitious accounts, the Libyan jet hid under the Itavia jet and
a NATO missile hit the wrong target.
Whatever the truth of the matter, it may only come out when
NATO records are declassified in years to come, many of the
theorists say.
Italy's many conspiracy theorists have also pointed to a
suspiciously high mortality rate among air force staff and other
people linked to the case, with four committing suicide by
hanging.
Another died of a heart attack at the age of 37.
In 2007, two former air force generals were definitively
acquitted on charges of covering up the truth about the crash.

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