Monday, February 07, 2005

Justice for Genoa

More than 70 Italian Police Officers go on trial today for their role in the brutal nighttime raid on the Armando Diaz school and adjacent alternative media centre during the G8 summit in Genoa four years ago. During the raid, peaceful protestors were savageley beaten; one man

was beaten unconscious and received several broken ribs, a fractured hand and the loss of all his front teeth.

Other injuries included an American who was kicked so hard in the groin that he will never be able to father children.

Forty of those arrested at the Diaz were taken to a holding centre at Bolzaneto, outside Genoa.

There they were submitted to physical and verbal abuse, including being threatened with rape by officers who were singing fascist-era songs.

The international media was then duped into believing the Diaz was a hotbed of violent resistance.

Two Molotov cocktails were planted and police also showed off an array of knives, sledgehammers and pickaxes which they claimed to have found on the premises.

One enterprising officer, Massimo Nucera, also claimed to have been stabbed and produced a damaged jacket to prove it.

Tests on the jacket later showed the stabbing was faked, and it later emerged the penknives had been used to prepare food in the school kitchen and the tools were from a nearby building site.

The police officers - including the second-in-command of Italy's counterterrorism unit - face charges including assault, false arrest, and abuse of office. And the reputation of italy's police - and of Italy itself - hinges on the result. If this turns into a whitewash, then Italy will be tarred as a country which puts force above the rule of law, and which allows its officials to act with impunity towards its citizens - just as it did in the 20's and 30's.


The obvious thing to do for the Italian government is to spin out the judicial process so long the statute of limitation applies. Berlusconi know a little about this. If that fails, they could always pass a police shooting immunity law, on the lines of the corruption immunity law passed for Berlusconi.

Posted by Hans Versluys : 2/08/2005 11:32:00 AM