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"We will never again set foot in Italy"

da www.ilmanifesto.it


The day after the Italian court whitewashed the police attack on the occupants of the Diaz school, the victims are still furious. The foreigners depart in haste, swearing they never want to set foot in Italy again. And the Italians try to react "Our battle in the courts is not over yet".

Never again in Italy. So swore some foreign victims of police violence in the Diaz school in Genoa as they caught the night train or early morning train over the border after thanking their lawyers and legal teams yesterday.

Bild: GE2001

The verdict the day before yesterday resembled the deportantion order they had received seven years previously, forbidding them to enter Italy for three years. That order was later rescinded when charges arising from the so-called Diaz search were dropped. The charges included criminal association for the destruction and sacking of a city, excessive resistance against a police officer, possession of explosive devices and illegal arms.

Many of the 93 people who had been in the Diaz were in court and were left speechless as they started to understand the verdict. Expressions of shock. Stuttered translations. Phrases in English as what it was finally dawned.

"I never ever expected a verdict like this" said one German. "I'm shocked. The people who were responsible will not be held to account in any way. It's a bad sign and a terrible example. Police who repress know they will be able to do what they like in the future without fear of redress"

Sara, Italian, who was a 21-year old art student in the Diaz, couldn't stop crying. "I just want to cry. It's so depressing. All let off and authorized to do what they did to us. It's just terrible"

Armando Cestaro agrees. Now a retired scrapyard worker, seven years ago he was the oldest person in the Diaz and had an arm and a leg broken. "This is no longer a democracy. We want a re-trial. This is a great shame for Italy and for any country".

Arnaldo is one of the group that attended all the hearings month after month, year after year, marching in candlelit vigils in front of the Diaz school every 21st July. Last year he warned "Democracy isn't permanent, It's something we have to fight for and defend every day"

The real question is how the judges happened to "forget" the false statements, the Molotov cocktails and the presence of senior officers at the school. Gabrio Barone, presiding judge of the 1st penal Section declared yesterday morning "One should read the documents and see proof before starting to criticise" Emanuele Tambuscio, defence lawyer for five victims replied "The Court will have enormous difficulties in motivating the reasons for absolving the people who signed false statements. It's going to be a real exercise in legal acrobatics".

One of the more surreal aspects is that the statements claim that during the Diaz search all the occupants of the school were offered and refused the chance to have a lawyer present during the search as, according to the law to do otherwise invalidates the search. All the victims claimed in court they were never offered this chance as all would have asked for a lawyer.

Enrica Bartesaghi, head of the Committee for Truth and Justice who had to search for her son for two days after Diaz said "Ths sentence insults the intelligence of Italians. They should absolve them all and say nothing at all happened in the Diaz. They can't say it's true people were hurt and then turn round and condemn only the small fry from Canterini down . What about the ones outside? Gratteri was there, Luperi was there. And what about the bag with the Molotov cocktails that was handed from one senior officer to the other? I've been coming to courtrooms for seven years where I read that the law is the same for everybody. That's just not true. They condemned the small fry. They'll be out in two months , back to their jobs as policemen where they can carry on beating people up".

Dario Rossi, Gsf lawyer said "They got the foot soldiers but were afraid to go after the top men who have been propmted and were defended by State lawyers. They weren't condemned for false statements and calumny which were all down there in black and white. The state is above the law".

Around 800,000 euros was awarded as compensation - small change compared to the average of 40,000 euros per person requested. "For example "says Massimo Pastore "I am defence lawyer for Suna Gol, who was tortured in Turkey and still under psychiatric treatment when Genoa happened", He also defends two other victims, one of whom is Englishman Mark Covell "He was beaten up in the Diaz, left haemorrhaging in Bolzanetto without any medical assistance and they offered him 5.000 euros provisional compensation".

Heidi Giuliani who was in court with members of the public and supporters of the movement concluded "You can't call this a verdict. They carry on unpunished and we are left even more worried about the future of this country."

Alessandra Fava

Source: http://ch.indymedia.org/demix/2008/11/64557.shtml