28 March 2012
Appeal by police officers who killed Aldrovandi rejected
On 21 June 2012 in Rome, the fourth section of the Corte di Cassazione [Italy's highest appeal court] rejected the appeal lodged by four police officers who were convicted and handed a three year and six month sentence for manslaughter in connection with the killing of an 18-year-old, Federico Aldrovandi, in Ferrara at a around 5 a.m. in the morning of 25 September 2005.
The first trial was on 6 July 2009, in which they were found guilty of "excesses" and of acting "imprudently" with a numerical advantage in the exercise of their duty, using truncheon blows against several parts of the victim's body, beating him to floor him and subsequently compressing his thorax as he was struggling to breathe, causing him to suffocate. They also failed to assist him when he called out for help. The Bologna court of appeal confirmed the sentence on 10 June 2011, while reducing it to six months in line with a general measure (indulto) that entailed a three-year tariff discount and was approved in 2006 to stem the problem of overcrowding in prisons nationwide.
The incident happened during a police check when Federico was walking home after a night out in Bologna. Three other officers are facing charges for the cover-up that ensued, aimed at suggesting that the youth had died as a result of drug consumption.
Federico's father Lino stated that "now, I have a bit of peace" after attending the hearing alongside other relatives of victims of police brutality, including Giuseppe Uva, Michele Ferrulli and Stefano Cucchi. He added that "I would like this air of justice that I breathed in these courtrooms to be granted to the Cucchis, Uvas and Ferrullis and to the many families that have had to deal with violence by the police, and with a justice that is very hard to obtain".
Simona Cenni, who works for Prima Difesa, an association that "defends the human rights of police officers", explained that "we will appeal before the European Court of Human Rights".
The fact remains that the police officers who beat a teenager to death will not go to prison, but they are set to face disciplinary proceedings. They have remained in service in spite of the Aldrovandi case, but not in Ferrara.
Corriere della Sera, 21.6.2012; Estense, 20-21.6.2012; Il Fatto Quotidiano, 21.6.2012; Il manifesto, 21.6.2012; Repubblica, 21.6.2012.
Blog dedicated to Federico Aldrovandi
Law no. 241 of 31 July 2006, "Concessione di indulto", published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale (Official Journal) no. 176 of 31 July 2006,
Previous Statewatch coverage
Italy: State offers Aldrovandi family compensation
Italy: Officers found guilty for teenager's death in Ferrara, July 2009
Italy: Teenager beaten to death by police in Ferrara?, January 2006
Italy: Police officers investigated over Ferrara death, Statewatch, vol. 16 no. 1, January-February 2006.
Italy: Manslaughter trial for officers in Aldrovandi death, Statewatch; vol. 18, no. 1, January-March 2008.
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