Europe

Italy backs convicted Genoa G8 police

Riots in Genoa in 2001
Image caption The Genoa G8 was marred by widespread violence

Italian officials say they have full confidence in policemen convicted by an appeals court over violence at the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001.

The officers, who were sentenced to up to five years in prison, are to remain in their posts pending a final appeal.

In an original trial in November 2008, 13 officers were convicted, while 16 - including the most senior officers - were acquitted.

The case concerns a raid in which dozens of protesters were injured.

"These men continue to have the full confidence of the security services and the interior ministry," said Alfredo Mantovano, the interior ministry's under-secretary.

He said he was confident that the Court of Cassation - Italy's highest court - would "dispel every shadow from the outstanding professionals of the security forces who find themselves in this situation".

Late-night raid

Among those who had their acquittals overturned on Tuesday were Francesco Gratteri, the former head of an anti-crime unit, and Vincenzo Canterini, the former head of Rome's rapid-reaction force.

Gratteri was sentenced to four years in jail and Canterini to five.

Also convicted was Spartaco Mortola, the former head of Genoa's anti-terrorism squad, who received a sentence of three years and eight months.

A total of 25 people were convicted, and the 13 convicted in 2008 were given higher sentences, Ansa news agency reported.

The 2001 G8 summit was marred by widespread violence between anti-globalisation protesters and the police, and several trials have been held.

The late-night raid for which the police officers were convicted, took place at the Armando Diaz school, in which anti-globalisation demonstrators had been sheltering.

In a separate incident one day before, a 23-year-old protester, Carlo Giuliani, was shot dead by a policeman.

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