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More than twenty years after the G8 riots in Genoa, the long fight of Vincenzo Vecchi, claimed by Italian justice


They will still be on the move. Among the forty people who are part of the Vincenzo Vecchi support committee, several will come to Paris on Saturday March 25 to attend a press conference by their friend’s lawyers. The day before, the Lyon Court of Appeal will have said whether or not the European arrest warrant against him must be executed. And if he should be sent back to his country of origin.

Italy is calling on Mr. Vecchi from France to serve a sentence of nearly twelve years in prison handed down in 2009 by the Genoa Court of Appeal. According to Italian justice, Mr. Vecchi is guilty of “devastation and pillage” during the demonstrations against the G8, in 2001, in the Ligurian capital.

Travel across France to support “Vincent”their ” boyfriend “, his supporters are used to it. They rent a bus and settle in the courtrooms to make numbers. ” In Lyon [lors de l’audience en février]we were about thirty to make the trip, with also a bus of Italians, remembers Jean-Baptiste Ferraglio. At the Court of Cassation, in Paris, we were also in a bus and cars. In Rennes, we held a special demonstration, without authorization. At the Angers court, we had 40 places reserved in the room. These are thousands of hours of meetings, miles of travel. » He pursues : “Initially, it’s our friend. We didn’t sleep at night. We start from there, but, little by little, it grew: from “Vincenzo-buddy” we moved on to a broader vision. The fight is also political. A draconian law like this is potentially dangerous. »

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One of the reasons for the ire of Mr. Vecchi’s supporters (who do not wish to speak to the press) is indeed the law on the basis of which he was sentenced. A 1931 text, adopted under fascism. This “devastation and pillage” law consists of repressing the mere presence at a demonstration, without necessarily proving acts of violence or degradation. However, Mr. Vecchi’s lawyers ensure that their client did not attack anyone, and that the facts for which he is specifically accused are minor: having torn up flowerbeds; setting fire to a tire; stealing items from a construction site to build a barricade; participating in the destruction of a car; drinking from a bottle stolen from a supermarket and participating in the attack on a bank branch.

“Moral Contest”

A historical and political analysis that Italy does not share. “There remains the name of this law but it is not fascist. Many things have changed. This type of offense is mainly used when there are demonstrations, underlines an Italian judicial source familiar with this case. The problem is that the French do not understand the “concorso morale”. This is a concept that also works for mafia crimes, for example. » This is a very specific notion of law: for certain offenses or crimes, it is considered that there is a material perpetrator of the offense but also a “morale”which would give “psychological impulse” for the commission of the offence. However, the interlocutor member of the Italian judiciary continues: “In the Vecchi affair, it is not only a question of moral competition, but also of offenses which he himself committed. »

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