Macerata mass shooter goes on trial in Italy

The trial of Luca Traini, a far-right sympathizer who injured six Africans during a violent revenge attack in the Italian town of Macerata, opened on Wednesday.

Macerata mass shooter goes on trial in Italy
Police guard a crime scene after Luca Traini's mass shooting in Macerata. Photo: Giuseppe Bellini/AFP

The 28-year-old faces up to fifteen years in prison after embarking on a shooting spree on February 4th, following the sordid death of a young Italian woman, allegedly at the hands of Nigerian drug dealers.

Pamela Mastropietro's body was found dismembered and stuffed into suitcases days before Traini's attack.

The two incidents, which occurred at the height of Italy's tense electoral campaign, shook the country and laid bare its deep tensions surrounding immigration.

Pro-migrant manifestations across Italy condemning the attack were in contrast to an outpouring of support for Traini who received messages of solidarity for his actions and, controversially, no politician paid a visit to his victims in hospital.

Luca Traini after his arrest. Photo: Carabinieri press office/AFP

Security was tight outside the court in Macerata where Traini faces charges of attempted murder and racial hatred.

The former security guard has admitted to the shooting but rejects allegations the attack was racially motivated, insisting he wanted to target drug dealers.

“I wanted to hit the dealers, like those who sold the drugs to Pamela. It is not my fault that in Macerata all the dealers are black,” he said during an interrogation released in Italian media.

His defence team has provided a psychiatric report which states that Traini suffers from a personality disorder and that he was not completely aware of his actions at the time of the attack.

The hearing was the first time that Traini's victims have come face to face with their attacker.

Speaking to the press, Aymere Innocent said: “We must pray for God to touch his heart.” The Nigerian pastor sustained wounds to his ear during the attack.

READ ALSO: Talking to locals and migrants in Macerata, Italy's immigration flashpoint

Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP




Italy’s president calls for ‘full truth’ on anniversary of Bologna bombing

President Sergio Mattarella said on Tuesday it was the state's duty to shed more light on the 1980 bombing of Bologna's train station, on the 42nd anniversary of the attack that killed 85 people and injured 200.

Italy's president calls for 'full truth' on anniversary of Bologna bombing

On August 2nd 1980, a bomb exploded in the railway station’s waiting room, causing devastation on an unprecedented scale.

Five members of terrorist groups were later convicted in relation to the bombing, the worst episode in Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ period of political violence in the 1970s and 80s.

Most recently, in 2020, a former member of the far-right Armed Revolutionary Nucleus (NAR) was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to those who carried out the attack.

But suspicions remain of cover-ups and the involvement of “deviant elements” within the nation’s security services, reported Italian news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Bologna massacre: 40 years on, questions remain over Italy’s deadliest postwar terror attack

“The bomb that killed people who happened to be at the station on that morning 42 years ago still reverberates with violence in the depths of the country’s conscience,” Mattarella said in a speech marking the anniversary on Tuesday.

“It was the act of cowardly men of unequalled inhumanity, one of the most terrible of the history of the Italian Republic.

A train compartment at Bologna station pictured following the 1980 bombing attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari.

“It was a terrorist attack that sought to destabilise democratic institutions and sow fear, hitting ordinary citizens going about their everyday tasks.

“On the day of the anniversary our thoughts go, above all, to the relatives forced to suffer the greatest pain.

“The neo-fascist nature of the massacre has been established in court and further steps have been made to unveil the cover-ups and those who ordered the attack in order to comply with the Republic’s duty to seek the full truth”.

The bombing remains Western Europe’s fourth deadliest postwar terror attack, and one of the most devastating in Italy’s history.