For failing to urge the mayor Virginia Raggi to take urgent measures between 23 and 25 February 2019, when 164 trees fell between Tuscolana, Centro, Prati, Trionfale and Cassia due to the gusts of wind, the head of Cabinet, Stefano Castiglione, together with four other executives, is likely to end up on trial on charges of culpable disaster and road injuries, after the request for indictment made by the Prosecutor’s Office. In addition to Castiglione, first of all Diego Porta, (former) director of Civil Protection, is accused. Then on the list of accused there are two managers of the Environmental Protection Department: the current director, Marcello Visca, and Antonio Odoardi, delegate for green management. Finally, Lorenzo Celli, director of the local police department, could also end up sitting on the dock.
The five managers were the members of the Coc (Municipal Operations Center), the coordination structure of the Civil Protection operating locally for emergency management, which met on February 22 two years ago following the weather alert issued at national level. Because of that alarm situation, the COC was asked for “careful surveillance of tree-lined road sections”. The organ was chaired by Castiglione, delegated by the mayor Virginia Raggi. According to the accusation, the head of the cabinet, with the support of the other four executives, should have forced the first town to close the tree-lined streets of the capital to passers-by and cars. In these streets, vehicles should also have been forbidden to stop and even stop. This measure was not adopted, with the consequence that a tree that came down in Viale Mazzini near the headquarters of the Court of Auditors on 25 February injured a lawyer sitting in a car making him quadriplegic. But between 23 and 25 February trees fell, without consequences to people, everywhere: on the Trionfale, the Laurentina, in via di Boccea, on the via del Mare and in piazza Verbano. That massacre of plants, according to prosecutor Andrea Cusani, after the weather alert could have been foreseen, even making a comparison with what happened on five previous occasions, the first dated 26 December 2017 and the last dating back to 10 February 2019 .
In total there are eight defendants. In fact, the Public Prosecutor has extended the request for indictment for the same crimes to Mauro Ianese and Claudio Maggi, managers of the Environmental Protection department., accused of not having ordered the felling of unsafe shrubs since 2018 in the Prati district. Luigi Neri, the director of the Bonifico Group company, is also accused, with the task of monitoring the trees in the same Municipality.
June 5, 2021 | 07:32
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