Lawyer, judge, co-de­fen­dant killed at Mi­lan court

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY COLLEEN BARRY

A man on trial for fraud­u­lent bank­ruptcy opened fire in Mi­lan’s court­house Thurs­day, killing his lawyer, a co-de­fen­dant and a judge be­fore be­ing cap­tured nearly 25 kilo­me­ters away as he fled on a mo­tor­bike, of­fi­cials said.

As the shots rang out in the fortress-like tri­bunal, court em­ploy­ees bar­ri­caded them­selves in­side their of­fices and took cover un­der their desks while po­lice hunted for the gun­man who moved unim­peded from one floor to the next.

“There was a lot of panic at the be­gin­ning when peo­ple came run­ning to­ward us say­ing there was a per­son with a pis­tol who had been shoot­ing,” said lawyer Mirko Ricetti, who said he locked him­self in a first-floor court room af­ter hear­ing a shot.

Af­ter tex­ting loved ones that they were OK, em­ploy­ees and lawyers were even­tu­ally al­lowed to trickle out of the tri­bunal, women first, fol­lowed by the men who had their court ID cards checked.

In­te­rior Min­is­ter An­gelino Al­fano said the sus­pect was caught by cara­binieri po­lice in Vimer­cate, near Monza, in­di­cat­ing he had trav­eled some 25 kilo­me­ters (15 miles) from the scene be­fore be­ing cap­tured. An am­bu­lance with es­cort was seen leav­ing the Vimer­cate po­lice sta­tion, but it wasn’t im­me­di­ately clear if the gun­man was in­side.

Pros­e­cu­tor Ed­mondo Bruti Liberati said the gun­man first fired on his lawyer and co-de­fen­dant, killing both and se­ri­ously in­jur­ing a sec­ond co-de­fen­dant.

Af­ter­wards, he “walked through the build­ing, go­ing down a floor, and killed the judge,” Bruti Liberati told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

He said it wasn’t clear whether there was any re­la­tion­ship be­tween the gun­man and the judge.

He iden­ti­fied the slain judge as Fer­nando Ci­ampi, who worked in the civil sec­tion of bank­ruptcy court. The ANSA news agency iden­ti­fied the gun­man as Clau­dio Giardiello.

Bruti Liberati said the gun­man was on trial with two oth­ers for fraud­u­lent bank­ruptcy.

Giardiello’s for­mer at­tor­ney, Va­le­rio Maraniello, told RAI state TV the case con­cerned a failed real es­tate busi­ness and that Giardiello was “very un­usual” and “over the top” in his legal deal­ings.

The shoot­ing im­me­di­ately raised ques­tions about how the man gained en­trance to the Fas­cist-era court­house with a weapon, given that vis­i­tors must pass through metal de­tec­tors.

The court­house has metal de­tec­tors at the four main en­trances, but lawyers and court­house em­ploy­ees with of­fi­cial IDs are reg­u­larly waved through with­out the ad­di­tional se­cu­rity screen and ac­cred­ited em­ploy­ees can drive into the in­ter­nal garage.

At­tornies Mirko and Da­vide Pupo noted that the metal de­tec­tor from the lawyers’ en­trance had been re­moved sev­eral months ago.

Em­ploy­ees who emerged af­ter the shoot­ing sug­gested that the gun­man could eas­ily have gained en­trance with­out pass­ing through the metal de­tec­tor by en­ter­ing with his lawyer, though other at­tor­neys said their clients rou­tinely are told to go in via the public en­trance.

The deputy in­te­rior min­is­ter, Filippo Bub­bico, said an in­ves­ti­ga­tion would de­ter­mine who was to blame for any se­cu­rity lapse, given also that the gun­man wasn’t stopped as he moved from one floor to the next to con­tinue the spree, and then was able to flee unim­peded.

“There’s no doubt that this episode sig­nals a non-func­tion­ing of the pro­tec­tion mech­a­nisms, which must be em­ployed daily and which have worked for years at the Mi­lan tri­bunal,” he told Sky TG24.

Se­cu­rity con­cerns are par­tic­u­larly high in Mi­lan given the May 1 open­ing of the Expo world’s fair. In fact, the in­te­rior min­is­ter, Al­fano, was in Mi­lan on Thurs­day to pre­side over a public se­cu­rity co­or­di­na­tion meet­ing for Expo when the shoot­ing erupted.

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