Milan's police chief arrested for murder

THE NEW police chief of Milan, Francesco Forleo, has been arrested in connection with the murder of an unarmed smuggler off the coast of Brindisi.

Mr Forleo is accused of firing the shot that killed Vito Ferrarese, a small-time bandit, during a police sea chase in July 1995. He is also accused of having approved a police cover-up and of later putting pressure on his colleagues not to incriminate him.

When told of his imminent arrest, Mr Forleo, 57, tendered his resignation before being transferred to a jail in Rome.

The arrest of one of the country's most prominent police officers has been greeted with incredulity among the police and by politicians who knew him during his brief spell as a parliamentary deputy. It follows a continuing investigation into the activities of the special "capture" squad in Brindisi during the early Eighties.

Five members of the squad, including several senior officers, were arrested in March. They were accused of staging police raids with the complicity of the local Mafia group, the Sacra Corona Unita, to obtain promotions and of favouring some clans. The inquiries have revealed a "wild west" regime in which any means appears to have been justified in the battle against the local Mafia andcriminal gangs trafficking in arms, drugs, cigarettes and illegal immigrants.

After many interrogations, some of the arrested policemen began to confess and point the finger at fellow officers.

The magistrates subsequently reopened the file on the shooting of Ferrarese, whichhad been quickly closed despite a report by the coroner that the bullet that killed him did not correspond to the pistol listed in the official police report.

The events of the night of 13 July 1995, during which Ferrarese lost his life, have been pieced together by some of the "capture" squad who were on board a helicopter.

In a statement to magistrates, leaked to La Repubblica newspaper, Giorgio Oliva, head of the squad, recounted that the helicopter had chased a known smugglers' craft, and that Mr Forleo and others had fired shots and thrown hand grenades to force it to halt.

Mr Oliva said that when they landed and found the boat with Ferrarese dead inside, they procured a machinegun and placed it on board, to back up the police line that they were being fired at by the bandits. He added that when the coroner ascertained that the fatal bullet was not fired from the gun listed in the police report, he was asked to take the blame, saying he had fired Mr Forleo's pistol.

According to magistrates in the southern Adriatic port of Lecce, Mr Forleo had until just a few days ago tried to convince fellow police officers at the time not to incriminate him.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer / Systems Administrator

£25000 - £32500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in SW London, this compan...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion this leading designer and sup...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a friendly, confident i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Primary Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: At Tradewind Recruitment we are currently l...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee