SHARE
COPY LINK

COURT

Italy convicts Captain Corelli’s war criminal

An Italian court on Friday handed a life sentence in absentia to a former German army corporal for the wartime massacre of 117 Italian officers on the Greek island of Cephalonia that inspired a well-known novel.

Italy convicts Captain Corelli's war criminal
117 Italian officers were killed in a wartime massacre on the Greek island of Cephalonia. Photo: Martin Belam/Flickr.

Ninety-year-old Alfred Stork, who lives in Germany, was convicted by the military court for his role in the execution on September 24th, 1943 after the officers surrendered to German troops.

Stork had confessed to his role but military prosecutor Marco De Paolis said "he did not have the courage to maintain his admission of guilt and stayed comfortably in his home in Germany".

But De Paolis said that witness testimony had proved beyond reasonable doubt that Stork was a participant in the mass killing. Several relatives of the victims were plaintiffs in the case.

Stork was interviewed by German magistrates in 2005 and admitted he was in an execution squad that killed 73 of the officers but that evidence could not be used in court.

De Paolis said that the case had been an uphill battle because fellow German officers who are still alive would not incriminate Stork.

"There is a disgusting code of silence," he said.

The story of the massacre became the basis for the 1994 bestseller Captain Corelli's Mandolin by British writer Louis de Bernieres which revolved around Italian army captain Antonio Corelli.

The award-winning novel was later turned into a film starring Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

ITALY

Italy’s Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report

Ex-PM Matteo Renzi would like to see former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi become prime minister of Italy, a party source told Reuters on Sunday.

Italy's Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report
Matteo Renzi. Image: Andreas Solaro/ POOL / AFP

“I would say that is one of our proposals,” confirmed the source, who declined to be named.

The Italian government collapsed last week when PM Giuseppe Conte resigned. The former coalition allies are currently trying to come to an agreement and sort out their differences.

The centre-left government had been in turmoil ever since former premier Matteo Renzi withdrew his Italia Viva party earlier this month, a move that forced Conte to step down this week.

During the past year, Renzi frequently criticised Conte’s management of the pandemic and economic crisis.

Italy’s La Stampa newspaper also reported on Sunday that President Sergio Mattarella was considering Draghi for the prime ministerial role. However, Mattarella’s office promptly denied this, saying there had been no contact between them.

So far, there has been no comment from Draghi, who hasn't been seen much in the public eye since 2019.


Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, gave ruling parties more time on Friday to form a new government, after the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. 

Coalition parties Italia Viva, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement must come to an agreement to allow the government to heal. 

Renzi, a former prime minister himself, has pubilcly stated that he does not want to talk about who should lead the next government at this stage, reasoning that the parties need to agree on a way forward first.

“Any effort today to fuel a discussion about Draghi is offensive to Draghi and above all to the president of the republic,” Renzi said in an interview published on Sunday with Corriere della Sera.

A senior Italia Viva lawmaker also told Reuters that “If the president gives a mandate to Draghi, we would certainly support this”. 

Renzi, whose party is not even registering three percent support in opinion polls, quit the coalition over Conte’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his plans for spending more than 200 billion euros from a European Union fund to help Italy’s damaged economy.

READ ALSO: Why do Italy's governments collapse so often?

SHOW COMMENTS