Lunedì, 15 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Ilaria Alpi case may be reopened after new wiretaps (5)

English
© ANSA

Rome, April 17 - New wiretaps could lead to the
reopening of the case of the murders in the Somalia capital
Mogadishu on March 20 1994 of TG3 reporter Ilaria Alpi and her
cameraman Miran Hrovatin, judicial sources said Tuesday.
The wiretaps are said to have been made in 2012 between
Somali individuals talking in Italy about the deaths of Alpi and
Hovratin, sources said.
The wiretaps were made in a Florence probe into the
trafficking of trucks decommissioned by the Italian army from
Italy to Somalia, judicial sources said.
Some 15 people have been placed under investigation in the
probe and the indictment of four of them, all Somalis, has been
requested, sources said.
The transcripts were sent from Florence prosecutors to Rome
prosecutor Maria Rosaria Guglielmi and filed by her Tuesday with
a preliminary investigations judge for a hearing set to
determine whether to shelve the case as requested by Rome
prosecutors last June.
Judge Andrea Fanelli, in light of the new wiretaps and
documents field by Alpi's family, adjourned the hearings until
June 8.
Rome prosecutors will work on the transcripts sent by
Florence colleagues over the coming weeks.
Alpi's mother Luciana said she "took note" of the new
evidence but said "i don't want to get my hopes up".
A Somali man who spent nearly 17 years behind bars for the
killings but was subsequently cleared, Hashi Omar Hassan, said
"Ilaria's family must have justice".
On March 30 Hassan got over three million euros in
compensation for his wrongful conviction and time in jail.
In October 2016 a Perugia court reversed Hassan's conviction.
Prosecutor Dario Razzi told the court Hassan "did not commit"
the crime.
He was the only person convicted of the murders.
Alpi, 32, and Hrovatin, 45, were ambushed and shot in their
jeep in Mogadishu by a seven-man commando on March 20, 1994.
Initially, it was thought that the journalist was murdered
in revenge for clashes which had broken out between the militias
of Somalia's warlords and Italian peacekeepers.
But a 1999 book by Alpi's parents called The Execution
alleged that Alpi and Hrovatin were killed to stop them
revealing what they knew about an international arms and
toxic-waste ring implicating high-level political, military and
economic figures in both countries.
The book accuses the Italian secret services of playing a
major role in this ring.
In 2015 Ahmed Ali Rage, who was also known as Gelle and
who was a key witness for the prosecution in the trial that led
to the conviction, said that Hassan was "innocent".
Rage told a new trial that he "never told anyone" Hassan was
part of the murder commando. Hassan was released into
the custody of social services in 2015 with 10 years to go on
his 26-year sentence.
"Thank God it's over," said Hassan at the time.
Alpi's mother Luciana, who backed Hassan's battle against
the miscarriage of justice, said that she was "happy" Hassan had
been cleared, but added that she was "bitter and depressed" that
the real culprits had not been brought to justice.
"It's as if she and Miran Hrovatin died of the heat in
Mogadishu," Luciana Alpi told ANSA. "We don't have the truth and
I don't think we ever will".
Photos taken of the dead body of Alpi, who worked for
public broadcaster RAI's third channel, and a medical report on
the deaths, along with other key evidence including Alpi's
notes, camera and video cassettes, mysteriously went missing on
the journey back from Africa to Italy, fuelling suspicions of a
cover-up.
Speaking to RAI Channel 3, Rage in February 2015 claimed
that he was asked to testify against Hassan.
"I did not see who fired the shots," he reportedly told RAI
3.
According to the Italian diplomat who investigated the case
in Somalia, former ambassador Giuseppe Cassini, the driver who
acted as a key witness for the prosecution was "an unreliable
individual who would do anything to survive".
Hassan, who travelled to Italy in 1998 to give evidence in
a probe into brutality by Italian soldiers, was acquitted of
involvement in the two murders at the end of a first trial in
July 1999.
But he was found guilty by an appeals court in 2000 and
sentenced to life in prison.
Italy's supreme Cassation Court upheld the guilty verdict
in October 2001 but reduced the sentence from life to 26 years
because it said the crimes were not premeditated.
Hassan's lawyers said he was not in Mogadishu at the time
of the killing and was tricked into coming to Italy.

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