Judge Donatella Banci Buonamici will no longer perform the functions of judge for the preliminary investigations in the investigation into the Mottarone cable car disaster. With a decision that raises not a few perplexities in the defense of the suspects, the president of the Court of Verbania Luigi Maria Montefusco reassigned the file to judge Elena Ceriotti. In the decision, President Montefusco writes that Banci Buonamici, who is president of the section and coordinator of the criminal area, had taken care of the arrest of the three suspects as he exercised the functions of “alternate” on May 26, the day of the arrests, replacing Ciriotti was exonerated to clear up the backlog. As regards the development of the file, starting therefore from the request for an evidentiary incident presented in recent days by the defenders of two suspects, another judge must be dealing with it, says Montefusco.
Therefore, the rule according to which the jurisdiction remains with the “first investigating judge who has adopted an act of the procedure also for all subsequent acts” would not be applicable, which, in the opinion of the president, does not apply to an alternate investigating judge who “must not, to respect a fair and coherent distribution of work, to take on business, up to the definition of the procedure, by table not due to him, except for justified reasons ». In addition, the judge completed his temporary posting on May 31st. Releasing the owner of the Ferrovie del Mottarone, Luigi Nerini, and the operating manager, Enrico Perocchio, Banci Buonamici had considered that there were not sufficient circumstantial elements against the two suspects who, according to the prosecutor of the Republic Olimpia Bossi and the substitute Laura Carrera, knew and had endorsed the “custom” of the head of the service Gabriele Tadini to put the “forks” on the emergency brakes (at least from 26 April), due to problems in a control unit that made the braking system work continuously (and this to avoid a repair that would have blocked the system and lost the ticket receipts).
Mottarone cable car: who are the protagonists of the investigation
The first turning point
The evidentiary incident
When the hauling rope broke on the morning of 22 May, the car crashed due to blocked brakes, killing 14 people and injuring a 5-year-old child. Consequently it will not be Donatella Banci Buonamici, who was preparing to file his decision, to establish whether or not there will be an evidentiary incident asked by the lawyers of Tadini and Nerini, the lawyers Marcello Perillo and Pasquale Pantano, to establish the causes of the disaster. The Prosecutor’s Office had taken a position against it, according to which it is necessary to deepen the investigations for at least another two months before identifying the framework of the suspects and victims who are entitled to participate in all the investigations that must be made with the evidentiary incident that, if done prematurely, it can also damage investigations, they sustain ipm. Meanwhile, the Prosecutor has asked the Court of Review to cancel the decision with which the investigating magistrate Buonamici had said no to the arrest of Nerini and Perocchio, putting Tadibni under house arrest.
The opposition between the investigating judge and the prosecutor had given rise to a lot of controversy, while the judge received death threats, to the point that President Montefusco had publicly intervened in favor of Baci Buonamici as a sign of solidarity for the media “pillory” to which she was subjected by those who accused her of having freed criminals, while the most guaranteed ones applauded her decision to go against the demands of the prosecutors. Even the Piedmontese Anm had intervened expressing solidarity, in this case to the Prosecutor’s Office, the criticisms raised by the Criminal Chamber of Piedmont on the reasons and the ways in which the suspects were arrested in the middle of the night and with reasons, in the opinion of the lawyers, inconsistent .
The prosecutor and the lawyers
“It’s a anomalous measure. It has never happened that during a match the referee is changed despite everyone recognizes that he did well ”, declares Pasquale Pantano in reference to the decision of President Montefusco. “We have never seen such a measure. It is the first time that a judge of an ongoing proceeding has been replaced not for a valid impediment but for a table problem », the lawyer Perillo echoes. No comments, however, from the prosecutors of Verbania.
June 7, 2021 (change June 7, 2021 | 19:11)
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