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Italian police planted petrol bombs on G8 summit protesters

by 000 Saturday, Aug. 03, 2002 at 9:55 PM

What a surprise!

Italian police planted petrol bombs on G8 summit protesters

By Jessie Grimond in Rome

30 July 2002

Italian police planted two Molotov cocktails in a school where

anti-globalisation pro-testers were sleeping to justify a brutal crackdown

during last year's G8 summit in Genoa.

A policeman has confessed that he planted the explosives following a year

of acrimony over the handling of security at the summit where a protester

was shot dead by the police.

"I brought the Molotov cocktail to the Diaz school. I obeyed the order of

one of my superiors," the 25-year-old unnamed officer told prosecutors

investigating the summit. The Molotov cocktails were planted in the school

to justify the police raids on the school, he said.

His superior, Pietro Troiani, from a mobile police unit in Rome, is

already being investigated after another colleague accused him of

providing false information to justify the raids.

At the time, the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, insisted that

the raids proved that the school held violent anarchists who had wrecked

the city. The presence of Molotov cocktails has been held up by the police

as justification for their raids on the school. They were shown off to

journalists along with a nail bomb, two sledge-hammers and a pickaxe, also

said to have been gathered at the scene.

The anti-globalisation pro-testers who stayed at the school insisted that

they were not involved in the violence which marred the summit.

Ninety-three demonstrators were arrested during the raids on the Armando

Diaz school on 21 July last year. Sixty-three of them reported serious

injuries. Protesters have claimed that they were beaten unconscious by

police, deprived of sleep, sexually harassed and denied prompt medical


There is some confusion about the planting of the petrol bombs. Last week

another policeman said that he had seen Mr Troiani bringing the explosives

into the school wrapped in plastic. But video footage shot by protesters

appears to contradict this, apparently showing a group of police officers

holding the Molotov cocktails before the raid without the plastic.

The government has defended the police action in the face of widespread

criticism and an admission by the Genoa police chief that his officers

used "excessive force". It has accused prosecutors investigating the

police of bias towards the protesters.

The Italian opposition has accused Mr Berlusconi's conservative government

of "zero tolerance" towards the anti-globalisation movement.

Police were drafted in from around the country for the summit for which

250,000 protesters flocked to the city. Seventy seven officers are under

investigation, including the policeman who shot dead a protester, but no

one has lost their job. Amnesty International has condemned the lack of

action by the government to bring the police to justice, pointing out that

many incidents were caught on camera and were "undeniable". The

organisation has accused the police of "arbitrary arrest and the use of

torture and ill-treatment".

There have been allegations that the police were well warned about the

presence of specific violent elements among protesters but that these

warnings were repeatedly ignored, leading to speculation that this was to

allow officers free rein for violence.

There are now at least 10 criminal investigations into what happened in


Magistrates have notified about 80 officers that they are being

investigated for alleged crimes committed during the school raid, the

street protests and at the Bolzaneto detention centre where, Amnesty

International claims, about 200 protesters were tortured.

Protesters have alleged that the police action was sanctioned by

politicians and they have called upon the Deputy Prime Minister,

Gianfranco Fini, of the National Alliance Party, to resign.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 4 posted about this article.
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typical ace Sunday, Aug. 04, 2002 at 1:52 AM
typical ace Sunday, Aug. 04, 2002 at 1:52 AM
typical? race Sunday, Aug. 04, 2002 at 2:05 AM
F%$k Off, PIG! Go back to your kid-beating, drug dealing... cops are bitch-asses Sunday, Aug. 04, 2002 at 2:37 PM

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