November 14, 2008
After a four year trial, the court acquitted 16 other, more senior officers of the abuses, to cries of “shame, shame” from activists awaiting the verdict.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
The 13 convicted policemen were found guilty of inflicting violence and abusing their powers during a predawn raid on a school where protesters, including British activists, were staying in Genoa during the Group of Eight meeting.
A lengthy appeals process and a statute of limitations which annuls sentences after a given period of time mean that none of the convicted are actually likely to spend any time in prison.
Police raided the Diaz school at the end of a summit marred by massive protests, with some groups turning violent and rampaging through the city.
Many of the Italian and foreign activists in the school said they were attacked while they slept and described acts of extreme brutality by Italy’s paramilitary Carabinieri.
Three people were beaten unconscious and dozens had to be taken to hospital after riot police burst into the school and arrested more than 90 protesters, including British, French and German activists.
Britons caught up in the violence described police indiscriminately beating people with their batons, saying the place where they were later detained was like a “field hospital in the Crimean War” full of people with broken bones.