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[Diaz] The mystery of the cut video seized during the Diaz raid

The author of the video testifies: the sequence of a beating was cut. After his testimony the videomaker from Bologna was stopped by two policemen: “They threatened me”


“I remember seeing a person holding their hands up in the second or third floor of the Diaz School. He was thrown to the ground by policemen and one of them was hitting with a baton in his direction. I saw this scene well because I had a video camera with which I was recording and I zoomed in on it”. This video was shown in court but the above mentioned scene was missing. While seeing his own film, the witness did not hesitate: the film was cut. Not only this: M.V., a videomaker around thirty from Bologna who collaborates with numerous information networks like Indymedia, explained to the judge on the base of his experience that this type of cuts could only have been made afterwards and described this in a precise and technical way. For M.V., his day in Genoa did not end with his testimony in court: around 17:00 hours, on his way to the train station to return to Bologna he was stopped by two policemen that supposedly tried to intimidate him and prevent him from further accusing the police. A clear intimidation against which a complaint will be filed in the next days.

The story of the cut video presented in court is one of the numerous incidents surrounding the Genovese trials: initially under the evidence number 175, it was filmed by M.V. from one of the windows of the Pascoli school in the night of 21st of July 2001 while the police was raiding the school in front, the Diaz school. The film of the police raid disappeared during the raid of the headquarters of the Genoa Social Forum and the author denounced its disappearence. The film then entered the files of the Diaz trial and was shown to the witness, who already during the inquiries underlined the fact that a scene was missing, which he clearly remembered filming. During his testimony, the shock of the lawyers of the 29 police sent to trial for bodily harm, false testimony, and abuse of authority was such that one might speculate that they had not read M.V.’s statement, which contained his declaration on the cut.

During his witness statement, M.V. reconstructed the events concerning his film: on the night of the 21st he remembers seeing a police patrol passing at a “continous speed”, without noticing any “objects being thrown”, as the policemen of the patrol stated when he returned to police headquarters. This event supposedly motivated the raid on the school building. “I remember being in the last room on the right end of the corridor in the third floor” that looks on the Cesare Battisti road. The witness explains: “I heard screaming, leaned out of the window and saw hundred or more policemen with blue helmets that were screaming and charging against the school gate. In the schoolyard there wasn’t anybody anymore, I saw how they smashed the gate using a van”. In this moment he took his camera and began filming the scenes that someone later edited and that have been shown in court. The unpleasent episode after the trial confirms the credibility of his statement and the exasperated atmosphere that is breathed in Genoa these days. The hearings of the Diaz trial will continue until the first week of april, while today a hearing on the violence in Bolzaneto is scheduled.

Published in Il Manifesto