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They hid under the desks, barricaded theselves in the classrooms and offices. The shots that came from the second and third floor still echoed throught the ears hundreds of people who were present in the Court of Justice in Milan. Carabinieri and policemen, in uniform or civil clothes, weapons in hands walked through the corridors of the Court of “Mani Pulite”, in order to put to safety all the rooms. They evacuated the women first, then they escorted some magistrates. Meanwhile the tragedy had already taken place: Claudio Giardello had taken his revenge. And the Manhunt was on.

Incredulous, frightened and even angry. After having been evacuated from the building, many amongst whom even judges, lawyers and civil personnel wondered how it was possible to enter in one of the most patrolled buildings of the city. “From what now seems to be ascertained-says the Chairman of the National Association of Magistrates, Rodolfo m. Sabelli, who was interviewed by crime was committed by one person alon his own: a person who enters a courthouse, shoots and kills. A frightening act that concerns a judge, a lawyer, citizens… ”

A huge flaw in terms of security. What do you think?
“The Court should be physically secure, and is also symbolically the place to settle controversies.The law in fact lies precisely in the recomposition of quarrels, and justice is opposite to violence. It is also the place where legality is controller, where sanctions are applied, but it must be absolutely impermeable to violence. Also from an ideal perspective, what happened is appalling. ”

What concerns you more about the dynamics of what happened?
“There is a double security related profile: not only did a person enter armed, but the other aspect relates to the movements that this person was able to do within the court. He entered the hall of Justice, he shot and killed, after that-if the reconstruction is confirmed – he went out, changed his plan, enter into another Office and shot and killed again. Then he managed to go out of the courthouse and go away from Milan. We have a situation of an incredibile lack of internal security.

Is it a problem of Milan only?
There is widespread uncertainty. I do not know what the reality of the other individual courthouses is, I do not want to believe that all are insecure; I really do not know and it is not my task to say so. It is however necessary, that our security-officials be responsible for these problems. Naturally, what has occurred does reveal a particularly crucial situation, both in terms of accessing with a pistol and for what happened thereafter “.

The head of State has called on the country to respect magistrates…
“This is a general problem. We have asked respect for Justice many times, for the jurisdiction, for those who work for law enforcement. This is a pre-condition in order to obtain respect of the individual citizen towards the judicial function. Today a judge and a lawyer were shot dead. Even a defendant was killed today. A criminal act which has symbolically wiped away every player in the justice sector “.

The seriousness of the affair has prompted the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, to convene an extraordinary plenum of the High Court of Magistrates. “The democratic society-said the head of the State-is inherently vulnerable to criminal snares against which the State responds with firmness, in full observance of rights”. Investigators, he added, “will”, “shed light then i twill be up to the Court and the Minister of Justice to take the necessary measures so that these incidents never occur again.” Renzi speaks of “obvious flaws”. The Lord Chancellor Orlando speaks of “serious errors”. The Minister of Home Affairs Alfano asks for hastiness in the investigations in order to identify “the person responsible for allowing the entrance to the courthouse”. And not only courthouses but beyond, since the serious episode has taken place in the city that will shortly host the event which will attract worldwide attention: the Expo.

Translation provided by Marina Stronati

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