Murder Attanasio, six life sentences

On February 22, 2021, the ambassador to the Republic of Congo was killed

Six life sentences in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the deaths, on February 22 two years ago, of Ambassador Luca Attanasio, Carabiniere Vittorio Iacovacci and their driver Mustapha Milambo in an ambush in North Kivu. This was reported by the local media, according to which the trial in Kinshasa against the six defendants, one of whom is a fugitive, began on 12 October last. They were found guilty of “murder, conspiracy, illegal possession of weapons and munitions of war”.

The Kinshasa military court did not impose the death penalty requested by the public prosecutor, while establishing damages of just under 1.9 million euros. The defense of the six accused, presented as belonging to a gang of common criminals and robbers, has already announced that it will appeal.

However, the conviction of six does not clarify some still obscure points: while the court confirmed that it was an attempted kidnapping of the ambassador – who had traveled to North Kivu with a World Food Program convoy – with a ransom request, the defendants complained that their confessions were extracted under torture.

THE FATHER – “There are still several gray areas that need to be clarified”, Salvatore Attanasio, Luca’s father, tells Adnkronos, commenting on the verdict that comes from Kinshasa. On the substance of the trial, “little can be said, let the lawyers read the documents and understand how things actually took place. However, it seems – he underlines – that there are several shaded areas. The positive note in all this tragedy is that the public prosecutor’s request for the death sentence for the six defendants was not implemented, probably also thanks to our stance strongly opposed to the death penalty”. On May 25, in Italy, a decision will be made on the trial of the two World Food Program (WFP) officials after the closure of the investigations by the Rome Public Prosecutor’s Office. “There are two lines of investigation, one also to understand the dynamics of the facts and ascertain responsibilities, I hope on this occasion we can finally reach the truth”, is the hope of Salvatore Attanasio who does not hide his perplexity on the outcome of the Congolese trial: the accused, he recalls, “first accused themselves, then they retracted” claiming they were forced to admit their faults with violence. “Well, where is the truth? Was it them or not?”

“The compensation of two million dollars to Italy decided by the Congolese military court? I learned it from the lawyers – adds Luca Attanasio’s father -, but I think it is only a symbolic gesture, as I do not think that the condemned can then actually paying, and in any case it interests me very little, what I am looking for is truth and justice for Luca. And I believe we can get there through the investigations of the Rome prosecutor’s office and a related trial”.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – “It is not certain that the whole truth has emerged so far”, Riccardo Noury, spokesman for Amnesty International in Italy, told Adnkronos. “I share – adds Noury ​​- the state of mind of Ambassador Attanasio’s father who has doubts about the absence of mandates still in this procedural phase and about the risk that this story will end with a somewhat incomplete judicial truth. The only a positive fact – underlines Noury ​​- is that the request of Attanasio’s father not to issue the death sentences was accepted, which is all the more important because it is not certain that the whole truth has emerged so far”.