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Luciano Diaz

luciano diazThe incident

Luciano Diaz, a 41-year-old Argentinian cattle farmer living in Italy for over twenty years, was arrested near Voghera in northern Italy on 5th April 2009 by Carabinieri police officers manning a road checkpoint, on his way home from a rodeo. The Carabinieri claim that Diaz had tried to escape in his car, almost knocking down a Carabinieri officer in the process, that they had stopped him after a long car chase, and that they had found him drunk, brandishing a 20 cm knife and threatening them with it. For this, they took him the police station and charged him with resisting arrest, threatening behaviour and illegal possession of weapons. Diaz's version, however, is different. He claims that the Carabinieri pulled up alongside him, handcuffed him and beat him. Then, when in the police station, he claimed he was beaten again by six Carabinieri. These beatings left him with injuries and abrasions, especially on his back, which was scratched and purple. His eardrums were perforated and he had to have six operations on his eyes for detached retinas, resulting in blindness in the left eye and poor vision in the right eye. On 6th April Diaz attended Tortona court and agreed to a settlement of one year's detention (under house arrest) and a sentence of resisting arrest. On reaching home he called for an emergency ambulance; his state of health had deteriorated but he couldn't leave the house because of the house arrest conditions. But the ambulance didn't come, because the health service personnel said that they knew about his case and decided not to intervene.
Diaz had to wait 72 hours before managing to get treatment. So he decided to lodge a complaint, and the investigation began.

The trial

The lawyers acting for Diaz are Fabio Anselmo and Alessandra Pisa, and the A Buon Diritto association has filed a civil lawsuit over the case. Because of the damage to his eyes and vision, Diaz was unable to recognise the police officers and, for six of them, the judge has decided there are no grounds to proceed. One police officer, however, called Marco Iachini, was recognised by Diaz straight away and sentenced by Tortona Court to two years and three months imprisonment on the charge of causing bodily harm aggravated by abuse of power. The sentence states that Diaz's testimony is considered as credible and as being borne out by the evidence, whereas that of Iachini is implausible to the point of being “slanderous” – with reference to Iachini having told Diaz that he had brought his injuries upon himself, as he came out of the courtroom. It was also proven that Diaz had not been drinking, as alleged by Iachini's fellow officer, and that he had not been acting violently. Further proceedings have begun against the police officers who are alleged to have broken the law in the writing of the arrest report. These proceedings are still in progress, but in the meantime an important objective has been achieved with the sentence for the injuries and the abuse of power.

Published: Wednesday, 18 February 2015 18:54

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