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Silence is golden: AN pays, Placanica won't speak

The 59th hearing was devoted entirely to Mario Placanica, the former Carabiniere who shot and killed Carlo Giuliani in Piazza Alimonda on July 20, 2001. The session drew large numbers of journalists, enormous security and many members of the public.

Genoa, September 27, 2005 - The actual hearing was swift. Mario Placanica, microphone in hand, availed himself of the right not to respond. The rest of the time was taken up by the tribunal panel refusing objections and closing the hearing. Those hoping to hear the former Carabinere's version of what happened on July 20, 2001 - for the first time in public rather than in the prosecutors' soundproof rooms - went away disappointed.

We are uncertain whether or not to feel surprised over the decision made by Placanica and his lawyer, Vittorio Colosimo, who also present at the hearing. Instead, let us point to three incidents, which we believe cast some light on the issue.

Speaking through Colosimo on May 13, Placanica let it be known he wanted to appear in the courtroom and answer "all the questions of the hundred anti-globalization lawyers, the public prosecutor and the tribunal's presiding judge."

A few days before the hearing, Placanica attended a meeting of the right-wing National Alliance (AN) party (reported in the September 25 edition of the Quotidiano di Calabria*), accompanied by former minister Maurizio Gasparri. The possibility of Placanica running as an AN candidate was neither confirmed nor denied.

In the courtroom on Tuesday September 27, Placanica declared: "I avail myself of the right not to respond".
Everyone is free to draw their own conclusions. Ours can be summed up by saying that conspiracy theorising may be an old Italian vice but, in some cases, there's a reason for it.

There were two other interesting developments in the 59th hearing. The morning opened with the deposition of Inspector Sebastiano Calani, with the Milan Digos (security police) since 1979, who was called upon to identify one of the defendants. The way he was summoned was typical of the prosecution's modus operandi overall. During the last hearing - regarding the same identification - Sebastiano Pinzone was called. Pinzone, a member of the Genoa Digos, cited Calani as the person who had made the principal identification of the defendant. Pinzone was therefore able to identify the suspect indirectly, via Calani. Calani, however, threw someone else into the mix, claiming that another Milan Digos officer had made the primary identification. After three hearings, perhaps the prosecutors will be able to summon at least one witness whose deposition isn't a complete waste of time. With all the powerful means at the prosecution's service, a simple phone call might not have gone amiss.

Finally, following the tribunal's decision with regards to Placanica's deposition, Justice Devoto announced that reported remarks by General Leso (the logistics chief of the G8, and, together with Truglio and Cappello, the elite of the Italian war forces abroad) should be struck off. This is because the prosecution had declared it already possessed the material, recorded by the video-cameras contained in Carabinieri helmets.
Coincidentally, the prosecution had decided not to use the cameras in these proceedings.

Next hearing, Tuesday, October 4, 2005

* From

Mario Placanica To Run For AN?
Does the former Carabiniere officer accused of having killed anti-globalization protestor Carlo Giuliani during the 2001 Genoa G8 plan to run for National Alliance? While he has neither confirmed nor denied the possibility, his face was among those sitting in the guest section at a meeting yesterday morning between former minister Gasparri and local AN militants. Placanica, seated next to his fiancée, was present for the entire political debate led by Gasparri.
It would seem the easiest thing in the world for Placanica, once he's hung up his uniform, to throw himself into a winning challenge for the upcoming municipal elections, running for Gianfranco Fini's party.