Italy: Officials to appeal sentences for G8 abuse

Genoa, 15 July (AKI) - Italian officials found guilty of abusing protesters who took part in violent demonstrations at a G8 conference in the northern city of Genoa are expected to appeal their sentences.

Presiding judge, Renato Delucchi, on Monday sentenced 15 officials - including police, prison officials and two doctors - to prison terms ranging from five months to five years.

Another 30 defendants were cleared of charges, including assault. The court received 360 statements from around the world, from Spain to Australia.

Alessandro Vaccaro, a lawyer for Antonio Biagio Gugliotta, a corrections officer who received the longest sentence, said his client was innocent and would appeal the verdict.

Vaccaro also said his client and the others were unlikely to go to jail because the statute of limitation on their alleged crimes expires early next year, long before their appeals would be completed.

The prosecution welcomed the sentences but may also consider asking the court to review its decision.

"It recognises the abuse of authority, therefore the sentence confirms that something very serious happened at Bolzaneto, even if some of the accused were acquitted, " prosecutor Ranieri Miniati told the Italian daily, Corriere della Sera.

"We would consider an appeal."

The alleged crimes took place in a barracks in Bolzaneto, just outside Genoa, where 250 arrested protesters were taken after the protests in 2001.

Protesters from Italy, France, Germany and other countries claimed they were beaten by police, strip-searched, denied food, phone calls or access to consulates while they were detained.

Officials from the security services, including police, members of the prison system and doctors, were accused of the physical and verbal abuse of protesters.


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