Montag, 13. Februar 2012

Disorder at the Centre of Relief and Initial Reception, Pozzallo. Representatives of the Police Forces speak at the hearing

In front of the only judge, Antongiulio Maggiore, the following representatives of the polices force appeared: Inspector Casiraro, Inspector Calogero, Assistant Lazzaro, Assistant De Prisco and Assistant Conti (all members of the 10th mobile unit, Catania); Warrant Officer Spadaro (Carabinieri, Pozzallo); and, Vice Brigadier Prudenti (Finance Police, Ragusa).

During the hearing, the facts of the night of the 16th April 2011 which occurred within the Pozzallo CSPA (Centro di Soccorso e di Prima Accoglienza: First Reception Centre) were reconstructed. Disorder broke out as the result of several migrants who attempted to escape. Fifty people ran through the second entrance of the centre, whose door had been opened from the outside by one of the escapees who had previously climbed over the aluminium fence with the help of another. It seems as if two Carabinieri who were surveying the entrance, De Marco and Nifosì (today not present at the hearing) were attacked and that Inspector Calogero, who intervened to give back up, received an injury to his hand, reporting a fractured metacarpus caused by a kick from one of the migrants, who was climbing the fence.
Seven Somalis, who arrived by boat in Lampedusa at the beginning of last month and were then transferred to Pozzallo, have been charged for their participation in last April's riot. Their defence is being carried out by Franco Rovetto and Paola Ottaviano. The crimes they are charged with are resisting a public official, assault and damage. From the witness statements read out at the hearing, however, none of the seven was identified as having committed specific acts of violence. Today's trial is of great importance because for the first time, in such cases, the representatives of the police forces have been called to speak at the hearing. Usually, a settlement is reached with the migrants, which involves them admitting responsibility. In this way, they still receive a criminal conviction which provides a great obstacle for them when they try to obtain their permit of stay. The Somalis who were charged on this occasion, however, were classified as asylum seekers when the incident occurred, yet they have since received the status of international protection. The next hearing is scheduled for the 9th July.
Daniela Sammito
il clandestino

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