The bloody battle of Genoa

Most of the several hundred law officers involved in Diaz and Bolzaneto have escaped without any discipline or criminal charge. None has been suspended; some have been promoted. None of the officers who were tried over Bolzaneto has been charged with torture – Italian law does not recognise the offence. Some senior officers who were originally going to be charged over the Diaz raid escaped trial because Zucca was simply unable to prove that a chain of command existed. Even now, the trial of the 28 officers who have been charged is in jeopardy because the prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is pushing through legislation to delay all trials dealing with events that occurred before June 2002. Nobody has been charged with the violence inflicted on Covell. And as one of the victims’ lawyers, Massimo Pastore, put it: “Nobody wants to listen to what this story has to say.”

That is about fascism. There are plenty of rumours that the police and carabinieri and prison staff belonged to fascist groups, but no evidence to support that. Pastore argues that that misses the bigger point: “It is not just a matter of a few drunken fascists. This is mass behaviour by the police. No one said ‘No.’ This is a culture of fascism.” At its heart, this involved what Zucca described in his report as “a situation in which every rule of law appears to have been suspended.”

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