Mattarella leads 40th remembrance of Moro kidnapping
Police chief blasts terrorists' TV 'rehabilitation'
16 Marzo 2018
Rome, March 16 - President Sergio Mattarella on Friday led a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the kidnapping of former premier Aldo Moro and the murder of five members of his security detail by the Red Brigades. Moro, a senior member of the once-dominant Christian Democrat party, was subsequently slain by the leftwing terrorist group after 55 days in captivity. Mattarella laid a wreath and uncovered a plaque in Rome's Via Fani, where the attack in which the bodyguards were killed and Moro was captured took place. Police chief Franco Gabrielli, Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi, Lazio Governor Nicola Zingaretti and outgoing Lower House Speaker Laura Boldrini also took part in the ceremony. In his speech, Gabrielli lashed out at the 'rehabilitation' of the Red Brigades terrorist group on television. "Bringing them back into the spotlight today in aseptic television studios as if they were debating about the truth is, I believe, an insult to all of us and especially to those who have given their lives for this country," he said, speaking about members of the Red Brigades. He added that this is a sort of "perverse turnaround" in which "the roles and positions are mixed up. We must remember who was on one side and who was on the other". The head of the parliamentary commission tasked with investigating Moro's kidnapping and assassination, Giuseppe Fioroni, said in an televised interview on Friday that "Moro was killed with the terrorists looking straight at him in anger, with the first shots fired at pointblank range with him in a standing position" and that "it is unlikely that this happened in that garage as they claimed it had". A stand for a Rome plaque commemorating Moro was defaced in late February with the slogan "death to the police" and two swastikas on the outskirts of the Italian capital. Italy has seen an upsurge in neo-Fascist and racist incidents lately. In commenting on Gabrielli's words, Justice Minister Andrea Orlando noted in a statement that the anniversary of Moro's assassination was a chance to remember the man and "the reasons for his sacrifice, as important now as ever. Strengthening democracy, broadening the base and including pressures that emerge from society is a very topical issue and this was for Moro an ever-present reason behind his civil and political commitment."