The long-awaited trial of urban guerrilla leader Renato Curcio and four other members of the extreme left-wing group, the Red Brigade, finally got underway in Milan on Wednesday (15 July).
The long-awaited trial of urban guerrilla leader Renato Curcio and four other members of the extreme left-wing group, the Red Brigade, finally got underway in Milan on Wednesday (15 July). But it was postponed until June 20 when the court-appointed lawyers said they needed more time to prepare their case. Curcio is charged with attempted murder and the four others with belonging to a subversive organisation.
SYNOPSIS: Large crowds lined the streets outside Milan's Palace of Justice as the trial opened amid unprecedented security measures, and fears of further acts of violence by the extremists.
Hundreds of armed police blocked streets and watched passers-by from inside armoured cars.
Strict security checks were made on anyone entering the area immediately around the building.
Many of the police stood guard with heavy automatic weapons.
All five accused were led into the dock manacled and chained, and were surrounded by an escort of several police. It's something of an achievement that the trial is being held at all. Last month, a court in Turin failed to resume hearings against Curcio when terrified jurors refused to take their places for fear of reprisals. The Red Brigade are violently opposed to all institutions of the Italian state and are responsible for the shootings of three prominent Italian journalists.
In the trial so far, the accused refused to accept court-appointed lawyers after their own lawyers abruptly pulled out. The defendants said they refused to recognise the court and 36-year old Curcio tried physically to prevent the charges being read. But he was grabbed by police and removed from the tense courtroom.