Mottarone, Cassation: “Voluntary and illegal omission of cautions”

The judges in the reasons for the house arrest of two suspects show a “clear strategy” from which the tragedy arose. “Engineer instigated employee to deactivate emergency brake system”

A “voluntary, and unlawful, omission of the prescribed precautions, which resulted in disaster on a causal level”. Thus the Supreme Court on the tragedy of the Mottarone cable car, on 23 May 2021, which cost the lives of 14 people in the grounds of the sentence with which last April it annulled the provision it had ordered to a new section of the Turin Review court house arrest for Luigi Nerini and Enrico Perocchio, two of the suspects.

“It unambiguously emerged – underlines the Supreme Court – that the cabin was regularly used, as well as by tourists and travelers, by the employees of Ferrovie del Mottarone srl for test rides, functionality checks, transfers from one to another. other location and the companies in charge of maintenance, so that it is certainly possible to appreciate the existence of the diffusivity character of the danger created by the voluntary, and illicit, omission of the prescribed precautions, from which, on a causal level, disaster has arisen “.

The judges highlight how the accusation is based “on the postulate according to which the engineer Perocchio, being in a superordinate position in the corporate hierarchy and having the power, as operating manager, to provide employees with indications on the formalities to be carried out to ensure safety of workers, would have instigated, for reasons of economic convenience (in implementation, that is, of a clear corporate strategy, in the framework of which the omitted annotation in the registers of frequent and repeated défaillances in the operation of the plant is also registered), Gabriele Tadini (employee of Ferrovie del Mottarone srl, ed) to deactivate the emergency braking system and, above all, to omit the removal of the stump during the opening hours of the cableway to the public “.

For the judges of the First Criminal Section of the Supreme Court, “it is clear, on the one hand, that the suspects are accused of having maliciously omitted the removal of the ‘forks’, ‘id est’ of having carried out an activity – naturally omissive – which Tadini , Nerini and, for what is more directly relevant here, Perocchio, were required depending on the role played in the company and the related assumption of a position of guarantee with respect to accident prevention obligations, so that the qualification must be confirmed for the purposes of the provisional precautionary complaint of the offense as his own, as it was committed by subjects with special protection obligations towards the property protected by the incriminating law “.

The order of the Turin Review, moreover, for the Supreme Court “appears gravely deficient in the part in which it assumes that the extent of house arrest, assisted by the prohibition of contacts with people other than those living together, is adequate and proportionate to the protection of the identified needs precautionary measures and, specularly, that ‘any other less afflictive measure is not suitable in practice for the protection of needs because by allowing freedom of movement and contact, the suspects could continue to deal, albeit medically, with their business in the same ways, repeating illicit acts of the same nature’. The particular nature of the alleged offenses, the role played by Enrico Perocchio, closely related to his professional activity, and the same arguments spent by the Review Court to prove the existence of special preventive needs – reads the reasons filed today – concur, in this regard, in accrediting the assumption according to which the danger of recidivism is concretized in the exercise of professional activity, the inhibition of which could, in hypothesis, produce an effective inhibitory effect “.

“Limited to this aspect – the supreme judges conclude – the annulment of the contested order must be ordered, with referral to the Court of re-examination for a new judgment on the point, amended by the defect found”.