Another victim of the Italian judicial system

Dear readers,
here it goes again. Another victim of the system. This is the testimony of a mother who has lost her son. I’ve watched the video and read the text of the interview, yet I still cannot believe it. A young man with no criminal record, arrested, locked up in a maximum-security prison without anyone being allowed to speak with him or contact him in any way. He died three days later. According to official sources, he committed suicide. I cannot believe that such things can happen in a country that claims to be democratic. The truth is, this is not a democratic country. Here’s Ornella Gemini’s report:

"My son was arrested in Cattolica on 19 June 2008. Since that day I was never again able to see him nor speak with him. He was arrested and when I was eventually allowed to see him, what I saw was an experience that I don’t wish on any mother! My son was arrested for an alleged offence and he was in protective custody. The word custody says it all! They should have given my son back to me standing on his own two feet, just as he was when they took him away. Instead, from the moment of his arrest, everything became more complicated and nothing was ever the same again. I was told that he had been arrested and taken to the Rimini prison, and that he was only transferred to the Sollicciano (FI) Prison the following day because they needed him there to be questioned by the magistrates. The first statement is false: my son was never in Rimini. My son was arrested and his first stopover in jail was in Sollicciano at 19h 45. He was arrested in Cattolica, having been called by the mother of the owner of the firm for which he worked because her son had been arrested the night before. She had asked him to go and see the attorney in order to find out what was happening.
My son, the one who was acting in total good faith, the one who made no attempt to escape, but went directly to this attorney in Cattolica, was arrested the moment he came downstairs and went through the door. From that moment on, he was allowed no further contact with his family. In the prison admission report from the Sollicciano prison, we see that he told them that he had an attorney and that he had telephoned his family, but I received no such telephone call from Sollicciano. It is also stated that his mother should be contacted in case of need or any other eventuality. In other words, me. Why then was I not contacted? I only found out about the events on the following day. I was told that he had been transferred. All good and well, and thus began the telephone calls putting pressure on me in an attempt to get me to change attorney. I tried to find out the name of the company’s attorney in order to find out what was going on because, at that moment, my entire world was collapsing around me! Everything was escaping me. So I telephoned the company’s attorney, a certain Mr. Marcolini, who was the person that had originally told me that Niki had been arrested, however, not even he knew anything. We had to wait for the police interrogation in order to find out precisely what my son was being accused of. I wanted to move to San Marino because I live in Avezzano, but the attorney told me: “No Madam, you won’t be allowed to see him or speak to him in any event because he has been placed in solitary confinement for three days”. Therefore, we would only be able to find out precisely what he had been charged with on Monday morning, once he had been questioned. Meanwhile, pressure was being put on me to change attorney, but I refused, asking “Why?” By that Sunday I couldn’t stand it any longer. I went to the attorney’s office, spoke with him and I mentioned the fact that perhaps a telegram should be sent to Niki, suggesting that he change attorney. Marcolini told me not to worry about it because when a prisoner is in solitary confinement, he is not even able to receive telegrams. Why, instead, was another telegram delivered to him? A telegram that I only got to see a few days ago (November 2008 – Ed). It stated that: “You must appoint attorney so and so..” Must! It was an order. Well, during those three days my son changed his attorney, appointing the one whose name appeared in the telegram. Meanwhile, Marcolini had been recused.During the course of the interrogation, this new attorney came down and told me that, at that time, Niki should exercise his right to say nothing, just as the others had done but, instead, he was talking. The attorneys I had brought along left at this point, while I stood around waiting outside. After a while I saw the armoured Police van moving in to pick up my son and I ran toward the vehicle. All I wanted was to see my son. We understood each other perfectly and a single glance would have been enough. I wanted to say to him: “Don’t worry Niki, I’m here”. However, those officers in the police van pushed me away with needless violence. They told me: “Go away, otherwise we’ll arrest you too, you must remain at least twenty metres away from the police van”. Then I saw my son exit the building, he turned towards me and they proceeded to turn his head the other way. Who had they arrested? A 26-year old young man with no criminal record! He had never before been in trouble with the law. Never! This was the first time ever! What would have been so bad about allowing him to look at me? This was the last glance we ever exchanged. I then waited for this new attorney, a woman, and I asked her: “What did Niki say? What happened?” She answered me as follows: “Niki wanted to talk, stating that he wanted to collaborate because he wanted to get out of there. So I let him talk. I asked him to explain to me precisely what was going on”. She then said: “Madam, I need to examine the case since I was only appointed the other day …”. That was precisely what the company attorneys that I had spoken to told me would happen. Clearly she could not have known this … I also had some clothes to take to the prison because Niki had taken nothing with him. I again appealed to the lady attorney saying: “try to see whether I can speak to him even just for a moment and even with you present, I don’t care how. I also have some clothes for him”. The attorney tried her best, however, I found out that 48-hours notice had to be given even for the clothes to be accepted in a super-prison. My question is WHY? Why was my son taken to a super-prison? First offence, no previous criminal record. There is no way that my son would have committed suicide in any event, but even less so without leaving me something in writing. Nothing makes any sense here! If this was such a major investigation, precisely what role did the telephone service providers play in this matter? Why were they never mentioned? They are mentioned in the arrest warrant. In addition to the Internet sites, a job that my son was very good at, he had also been involved in the deals with the telephone service providers. But how come their names were never even mentioned in the newspapers? And why was no application submitted for a rogatory to be held in San Marino? In other words, I go into a thief’s house, I arrest the thief but I don’t bother to look for the loot. Does this seem right to you? The rogatory was necessary in order to seize the computers that could perhaps help to explain precisely what was actually going on. Why did this not happen? Twenty days after my son’s death, I sent my husband and my brother-in-law to talk to the owner of the apartment in San Marino where my son had been living. It turned out that the apartment had been totally cleared out. Not even a single one of my son’s socks was left behind. I was not even able to lay my hands on something that smelled of my son. So, who was it that was so keen to clear out that apartment? Perhaps the seventeen other people arrested, whose situation could have been aggravated? Or perhaps someone who was afraid that they could land up in jail because of the information stored on those computers? They disappeared with everything! Everything! I didn’t even get back the keys to my own house. How am I supposed to defend him? How am I supposed to try to make head or tail of what happened when I have nothing left? What am I supposed to do? Please help me, I can’t do it alone! The person that sent the telegram and the person that burgled the apartment, do we know who they were working for? It costs very little to arrange these things. What I want to know is who gave the order to get my son to change attorney. Who gave the order to have the apartment cleared. I want to know who is behind it all! We cannot keep hiding behind monsters speaking of names. Are there any existing recordings of tapped telephone conversations? When a telephone call goes from one number to another, it means that there are two people speaking on the line. If you and I talk to each other, then why am I the only one that gets arrested? Nevertheless, by mid July these excellent suspects were still at work, doing precisely what they had done before. My son, instead, has been lying under two metres of soil since 24 June. The Solliciano prison medical officer, Doctor Franco Corleone, stated in an interview with La Repubblica that he had spoken with the prison governor who, in turn, had told him that just after the exercise period – and here it is important to understand the timing because the exercise period lasts from nine-thirty to ten-thirty – when my son had just made use of the opportunity to grab a breath of fresh air, he had then, according to the official verdict of suicide, gone back to the bathroom and hung himself. In that same interview, Franco Corleone added that: “You know, Niki had already shown signs of psychological collapse when he changed attorneys”. Dear Doctor Corleone, that was no sign of psychological collapse. He was ordered to change attorney. He would not have done so of his own accord. What did Doctor Franco Corleone say to the prison governor? Why did the autopsy show that death had occurred at 10, while the “118” emergency services were only called out at 11:15. Does that mean that you could have saved him? Could he have been saved? Believe me, absolutely nothing tallies! The prison gave me the archived records, but I ask myself, how can you archive something when nothing tallies? Just the day before his death, my son had asked to be placed in a cell with other Italian inmates, preferably non-violent ones. What does this tell you? Did he want to stay alive or not? In my opinion he did, otherwise he would have said “Put me with whomever you wish”. I know precisely what he would have done had he really wanted to commit suicide. The statements made by Niki’s two cellmates also don’t tally. One apparently asked the other: “Where is Niki?” and the other apparently answered: “He went out for some exercise”. In the other cellmate’s deposition, in response to the same question, he answers: “Niki went to the bathroom to wash his clothes”. I have to ask myself precisely where Niki actually was? Furthermore, there is also another statement from one of the prison warders, in which he states that: “Niki spoke to me. He appeared to be quite relaxed. He asked me “When are they going to question me again?” according to the warder, this questioning session took place at 10. The exact time that my son apparently died. I have to ask myself when exactly did this warder talk to my son? And where, because it is not specified? I appeal to all you journalists out there. Don’t concern yourselves with the idiotic news reports that we hear on a daily basis on the television, rather act like serious journalists. Stick your heads into these prisons. Reading through the “Prison Information” booklet, I discovered that all sorts of things can and do happen during the exercise period, since all of the cells are open and inmates have access to cells other than their own. My son was supposedly in custody. Who was looking after him? "

Ornella Gemini


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