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Italy court acquits majority of police charged in 2001 G8 summit raid case

[JURIST] An Italian court on Thursday acquitted [RAI recorded video, in Italian] 16 police officers and convicted 13 officers on charges of violence in raiding a school that protesters of the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa [official website; BBC backgrounder] were using as headquarters. In addition, the court awarded damages to some of the injured protesters. The 13 convicted officers were sentenced to 35 years and seven months, as opposed to the 108 years originally sought by the prosecution. Of the 16 acquittals, three senior officers were high-ranking officials in the anti-terrorism unit and one was in the secret service. The trial has been high-profile in Italy, and is one of three that arose in relation to alleged abuses of authority at the 2001 G8 Summit anti-globalization protests. Reuters has more. RAI has local coverage, in Italian.

On the night of July 21, 2001, police forces conducted a raid on the Diaz school, which was being used as headquarters by some of the protesters. Over the course of the summit as a whole, more than 100 protesters were injured and one was killed. Immediately after the protests and reports of abuse, Amnesty International (AI) called for a full investigation [press release] into the mistreatment. In July 2006 the group urged the Italian government to institute reforms to prevent future abuses [press release], but said that the government had not done so in the five years since the incident. In July of this year, an Italian court found 15 police force members and medical staff guilty [JURIST report] of abusing the protesters, but absolved 30 more.

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