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(ANSA) - Genoa, October 7 - Former national police chief Gianni De Gennaro was acquitted here on Wednesday on charges that he pressured a ex-Genoa police chief to commit perjury in a trial over police brutality at the Group of Eight (G8) summit in 2001.

Also acquitted on the same charges was the ex-head of the Genoa branch of Digos security police, Spartaco Mortola. The prosecution had asked for a two-year sentence for De Gennaro, who is currently the head of Italy`s intelligence services, and 16 months for Mortola.

Both men were accused of persuading Francesco Colucci, chief of police in Genoa in 2001, to change his testimony about a night raid on the Diaz school, which was being used by G8 protestors as sleeping quarters.


Colucci has always denied being pressured to give false testimony, saying he always told the truth in court, and has been ordered to to face a separate trial for perjury. Three people were left comatose and 26 had to be taken to hospital in the night raid, which gained headlines worldwide.
Controversy raged in November last year after a verdict acquitted 16 defendants including the three top officers and sentenced 13 lower-ranked officers to terms ranging from one month to four years - terms they will never serve because of an intervening amnesty.
The officers convicted were judged to have acted on their own without instructions from their superiors. The verdict provoked outrage among victims of the raid, campaigners, human rights groups and leftwing politicians but centre-right MPs praised judges for restoring the reputation of the police and for refusing to bow to pressure. More than 300,000 demonstrators converged on Genoa for the G8 summit in July 2001.
During two days of mayhem, one protestor was shot dead while attacking a Carabinieri policeman, shops and businesses were ransacked and hundreds of people injured in clashes between police and demonstrators. In a separate trial into brutality against protestors held at a police detention centre in the Bolzaneto area, 15 of 45 officials standing trial were convicted in a sentence handed down last July.
As in the Diaz case, none of those convicted will serve time because of the statute of limitations. In total, 252 demonstrators had said they were spat at, verbally and physically humiliated or threatened with rape while being held at the centre.

Source: http://www.lifeinitaly.com/node/8069