Congo, murder of Luca Attanasio: Italy asks not to sentence the defendants to death

In the trial underway in Kinshasa against the six accused for the death of Ambassador Luca Attanasio, the Italian State, a civil party and for some time engaged internationally against capital punishment, has asked for the sentence of imprisonment as an alternative to the sentence for the defendants of death.

Italy’s request to the trial for the death of Attanasio

The request was notified during today’s hearing dedicated to the defense argument. This was learned from the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo where last Tuesday the prosecution of the Military Tribunal had asked for the death penalty for the five Congolese on trial and a sixth fugitive.

Attanasio’s father: “We are against the death penalty”

“Adding death to death serves no purpose. If not to bring more pain. We are against it, Luca would have been against it”, said the father of the Italian ambassador killed in Congo in 2021 in an interview with Corriere della Sera. “We are against the death penalty. Our Constitution, our civic sense, our Catholic education say so. They are the same principles with which our son identified. Capital punishment will never be able to alleviate the pain of our family”, he added the father of the diplomat killed together with the driver Mustapha Milambo and the carabiniere Vittorio Iacovacci in circumstances that have not yet been fully clarified. “The prosecutor in Congo – he recalled – argued that it was not an ambush or a degenerate kidnapping attempt, as reconstructed initially, but a real execution”. In the event, he observes, there would also be a principal. “The preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 25 in Rome against two employees of WFP (the UN World Food Program which had organized the expedition during which Luca Attanasio was killed, ed): I trust – concludes the father – that many clarifying aspects may emerge”.

The defense requests the acquittal of the six defendants

The defense requested acquittal for all six defendants. The request was made arguing that the six did not commit the crime or in any case there are doubts about their responsibility. However, the prosecutor immediately replied that there are no doubts about the responsibilities of the defendants on the basis of the detailed confession reports in which each one describes his or her role. The reports, argued the investigating military magistrate, never disputed on their merits by the defence, were confirmed both by the videos shown in the courtroom (which, according to him, also exclude that the confessions were coerced with violence) and by the ballistics report. The prosecutor also said he took note of the Italian request against the use of the death penalty. But, since Congolese law provides for death sentences (not carried out only by virtue of a de facto moratorium) he confirmed the requests for a maximum sentence since there are no extenuating circumstances.