|Gaza Permanent Military Court Issues Judgment in the Case of Italian Activist Vittorio Arrigoni’sMurder|
|Monday, 17 September 2012 00:00|
On Monday morning, 17 September 2012, the Permanent Military Court is Gaza issued its judgment in the case of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni’s murder. The Court convicted the first defendant (M.S.) and second defendant (T.H.) of premeditated killing and kidnapping for the purpose of killing. They were each sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor and 10 years of imprisonment with hard labor; the more severe of the two punishments will be applied.
The court also sentenced the third defendant (K.E.) to 10 years of imprisonment with hard labor, after convicting him of kidnapping for the purpose of killing. The fourth defendant (A.G.) was convicted of harboring fugitives and sentenced to one year of imprisonment.
PCHR lawyers attended today’s hearing in their capacity as the legal representatives of the Arrigoni family. They have also attended all hearings for the case since the court began considerations on 11 August 2011. PCHR has also followed all of the developments of the case and provided the court’s panel with letters from the Arrigoni family.
The Italian activist, Vittorio Arrigoni, was killed,after being kidnapped in the evening of 14 April 2011, by a group that called itself the “A-Hammam Mohammed Bin Maslama Group.” The Palestinian police found his body 15 April 2011 in a house in the ‘Amer housing project west of Jabalya, located in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
In light of the judgment issued in the case of Arrigoni’s murder, PCHR would like to draw attention to the following:
· 3 of the persons who were involved in kidnapping and murdering the Italian activist were subsequently killed in armed clashes between them and Palestinian security forces that besieged the house where they werehiding in al-Nussairat refugee camp in the central part of the Gaza Strip.
· PCHR officially demanded the court’s panel, in writing, to abstain from applying the death penalty to the defendants if they are convicted, based on its position rejecting the death penalty and in response to the Arrigoni family’s wish, which they expressed in a letter dated 16 December 2011. The family wanted a fair trial for the defendants in accordance with the requirements of the international law and called for the death penalty to not be applied against the defendants if they were convicted.
· PCHR, like the Arrigoni family, is satisfied by the sentences issued by the Court, which can be described, under the circumstances surrounding the case, as fair and legitimate, and considers that the murderers of Arrigoni have been effectively tried.
· PCHR has followed this case in honor of Vittorio Arrigoni’s soul and out of its moral commitment towards international solidarity activists, who may lose their lives because of their support for the rights of Palestinian people, like what happened to Arrigoni and the American activist Rachel Corrie.
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