Police cleared of brutality in Genoa

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The Independent Online

An Italian parliamentary committee investigating allegations of brutality and disorganisation by police during the G8 summit in Genoa has, in effect, absolved the police in its final report.

The shooting dead of Carlo Giuliani, a 23-year-old protester, by a young police officer, the widespread devastation of the city, the beatings and arrests of more than 300 demonstrators, did not, according to the committee's report, prevent the summit from being a success in terms of content, logistics and public order. It praised the police saying, "they gave their best, paying a high price in terms of risking injury".

Italy was fiercely criticised by its European partners for having mishandled the security of the event in July. Many British and European protesters in Genoa reported that they were savagely beaten in a night raid on their sleeping quarters. They recounted being held for hours in crowded cells, being threatened and abused by police while denied access to any legal or consular representatives.

The commission, where Italian MPs are in the majority, spent several weeks hearing police chiefs, politicians and protesters involved in the events of Genoa. Its report, however, stood well short of criticising the police handling of the summit, referring to the bloody night-time raid as the "most significant example of organisation failing and operational dysfunctions".

It said the "fundamental cause" of the shooting dead of the protester "was the violence exercised by extremist groups which put at risk the lives of youngsters involved in their criminal acts".