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Italian Minister Issued Orders To Fire On G8 Protesters

Carlo Lives | 18.02.2002 11:43 | Genoa

Italian interior minister issued order to fire on G-8 protesters
Last Updated Sun, 17 Feb 2002 19:57:49

ROME - Italy's interior minister is under pressure to resign after revealing that he ordered police to shoot any protesters who breached police security lines during last year's Group of Eight summit in Genoa.

Claudio Scajola came under attack on the weekend when he told reporters that he gave the order to officers inside the high-security "Red Zone".

He said he was worried about a possible terrorist attack on G-8 leaders after one demonstration ended in violence.

A police van at the summit came under attack and officers ended up killing one of the protesters, Carlo Giuliani.

Opposition groups and anti-globalization organizations had already accused the police of being heavy-handed. But now they have called on the minister to resign and to reveal everything he knows about summit security.

Adding to the confusion following the minister's comments, the head of Italy's national association of police employees said he was surprised by Scajola's remarks.

Giovanni Aliquo declared he was unaware of the order to fire in Genoa, adding that such an order would have been criminal and the police would have refused to follow it.

A series of investigations were launched after the Genoa summit into how security was organized, and how the protester was killed.

FROM AUG. 8, 2001: Italy's police chief admits excessive force at G-8

The opposition continues to claim the government has covered up events of last July, when about 250,000 protesters filled the streets of Genoa.

The government recently rejected a call by critics to establish a parliamentary commission on the summit, saying it was not necessary and that the matter was closed.

Carlo Lives