Fifteen police, prison officials sentenced in 2001 G8 attacks

Other News Materials 15 July 2008 03:09 (UTC +04:00)

Seven years after the violence-plagued Group of Eight summit in this Italian city, a criminal court late Monday slapped jail sentences for brutality on 15 police and prison officials blamed for excessive violence against protestors, the dpa reported.

After nearly two years of testimony and argument and more than nine hours of deliberation, the court found 30 of the 45 defendants in the long-simmering case not guilty.

The sentences ranged from five months to five years for the 15 found guilty, who included high ranking officers.

The 45 were accused of beating scores of anti-globalization protesters while they were detained in a barracks in Bolzaneto following their arrest in nearby Genoa, and of other attacks.

One demonstrator was shot dead in the head by police and hundreds were injured during almost three days of rioting as the world's most industrialized nations met for their annual summit in 2001. The police officer who delivered the lethal shot defended his actions as self defence and was found not guilty.

The longest sentence of five years was reserved for Antonio Biagio Gugliotta, who was responsible for security in the Bolzaneto prison.

More than 240 youths acted as plaintiffs in the trial, one of two judicial proceedings brought against policemen for actions at the 2001 summit. They charged that police officers beat activists, sprayed them with asphyxiating gas and forced them to sing Fascist songs.

In a separate trial, 28 officers face charges of brutality over a raid into the Diaz school were anti-globalisation activists were sleeping.