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Thursday, 2 August, 2001, 21:36 GMT 22:36 UK
Genoa violence claims police scalps
Carabinieri in Genoa
The police have been accused of gratuitous violence
The Italian Government has ordered three senior police officers responsible for security during the G8 summit in Genoa to be removed from their posts.

Last month's summit of the world's richest nations was marred by violent clashes and the death of a protester, who was shot by police.

Those being disciplined are the deputy chief for G8 summit security, Ansoino Andreassi, Italy's anti-terrorism chief Arnaldo la Barbera and Genoa police superintendent Francocesco Colucci.


If, as it seems, some [police] behaved improperly, they will be severely censured

Claudio Scajola,
interior minister
Hundreds of people were injured in the rioting, prompting widespread allegations of police brutality - many of which are reported to have been upheld by an internal Interior Ministry inquiry.

In all 280 people, a third of them foreigners, were arrested over the course of the summit. Some 200 were injured in the clashes.

Spanish protester
Protesters say they were beaten during a police raid on a school
Announcing the disciplinary measures in a statement late on Thursday, Interior Minister Claudio Scajola said the three men would be reassigned to other jobs, but gave no further details.

The action is the first to be taken against the police since the violence.

Mr Scajola, who is in charge of Italy's police, himself survived a vote of confidence in parliament on Wednesday over allegations that officers had used excessive force in dealing with the protesters.

"If, as it seems, some [police] behaved improperly, they will be severely censured," he told parliament on Wednesday.

School raid

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has come under heavy criticism at home and abroad for the policing of the anti-globalisation protests.

He has promised there will be no cover-up, and has agreed to a parliamentary inquiry into the violence - but with limited powers.

Summit violence
The police said anti-capitalist protesters started the violence
The commission's aim is to identify the cause of and responsibility for the violence, but it will lack the judicial powers - including the power to subpoena witnesses - which some opposition groups had hoped for.

Prosecutors in Genoa have already launched separate investigations into allegations of police brutality and violence by protesters.

They are concentrating their investigations on a raid on a school housing the Genoa Social Forum (GSF) umbrella group in which 93 people were arrested.

Protesters say they were beaten and kicked by the police and were refused access to lawyers on their arrest.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's David Willey in Rome
"Disciplined and reassigned as a result of protests about police conduct"
Italian Senator Francesco Martone
"We think it is a scapegoating exercise"
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