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Bolzaneto: Dear Friend

Dear Friend,

As you will have learned through the press or from our website - www.veritagiustizia.it - January 27, 2005 marks the beginning of preliminary hearings for 47 officials (12 carabinieri, 14 policemen, 16 wardens, 5 medical staff- doctors/nurses), who have been charged with brutality in their treatment of the citizens arrested or held in custody between July 20- 22, 2001, in the Bolzaneto barracks in Genoa, Italy.

Since Italian penal code does not include the crime of torture, the Public Prosecutor’s office has filed a request of committal to trial with charges of: abuse of office, brutality, beating, excessive violence, abuse of authority to the detriment of the people under arrest, threatening detainees, forgery, and failure to produce both medical reports and medical assistance.

It is not necessary to stress the importance of this trial. A trial offers the victims of police brutality during those dreadful days the opportunity to obtain a guilty verdict for at least some of the perpetrators and to be recompensed for both physical and moral damages.

However, the road ahead is a long one. This is only a preliminary hearing. At its conclusion the Judge for Preliminary Investigations will decide whether or not to bring the defendants to trial. Only then will the real trial, which could bring a guilty verdict, begin.

At this stage, some of the defendants may ask for a “brief rite” trial, which does not call for an in-depth investigation nor a public trial; others may decide to bargain a plea, that is to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. And for others, the case may be dismissed, which means that the charges would be dropped before going to trial.

We can take nothing for granted. Thus, we are planning to attend the preliminary hearings so that our presence will be felt. We have the opportunity to join the prosecution as plaintiffs, so that the victims will have the right to sue for damages and will be allowed to take an active role in the trial.

This opportunity is not limited only to those who were present inside the Bolzaneto barracks. The parents and next of kin of those who suffered from injuries can join the civil suit, since they too were damaged by the crimes committed.

Many of them spent hours, and days searching for children, parents, wives, husbands, and friends who were swallowed by the horrors of Bolzaneto without receiving any news of their loved ones. Those who were deprived of their freedom and locked behind bars in Bolzaneto, were denied the right to contact their relatives, their lawyers and even their consulate.

In the trial regarding the facts related to the Diaz school (the preliminary hearings are being held in these days), I have been able to join the prosecution as a plaintiff, as mother of one of the victims of the violence committed at the Diaz school. I will present the same request for the trial of Bolzaneto, again as mother of one of the victims of the violence and brutality carried out in the Bolzaneto barracks against my daughter and for damages I suffered because of her disappearance for more than 24 hours.

It is crucial that all the victims of the violence and brutality and their relatives join the prosecution as plaintiffs.

If you want to proceed in this way and you do not have a lawyer, please contact us. We will give you all the necessary information and, if you would like, we can give you the name of a Genoa Social Forum lawyer in your area.

If you already have your own lawyer, and you want to receive information regarding the Committee’s actions regarding the trial, you can write us at:info@veritagiustizia.it

We will contact you by e-mail and/or phone with information regarding what the Committee is planning to do for the trial and with any other necessary information.

Best wishes,
Enrica Bartesaghi
Committee for Truth and Justice for Genoa
Presidente del comitato verità e giustizia per Genova



The Comitato Verità e Giustizia per Genova collects funds for the defence of the victims of police brutality in Genoa in July 2001.

Postal account 34566992 ABI 07061 CAB 01400 in favour of Comitato Verità e Giustizia per Genova