Today, 20 May 2008, the ENCOD delegation at the second session of the EU Civil Society Forum on Drug Policy in the EU handed over the following letter to the representatives of Director General Jonathan Faull of the European Commission Directorate General Justice, Freedom and Security
To Mr. Jonathan Faull
Directorate General Justice, Freedom and Security
Antwerp, May 20, 2008
Dear Jonathan Faull,
On the occasion of the second session of the Civil Society Forum on Drug Policy in the European Union, we would like to present a request to you.
We ask your assistance in establishing a dialogue between the government of Italy and the family of Aldo Bianzino, who died under questionable circumstances in the prison of Capanne.
On Friday, October 12th, 2007, Aldo Bianzino, a 44 years old man living with his companion Roberta in Umbria, in the center of Italy, was arrested because of a small cannabis plantation. Both were taken to the police office of the town of Città di Castello, then to the prosecutor’s office in Perugia and finally to the prison in Capanne. On Saturday October 13th the lawyer in charge (Edoardo Maglio) met Aldo at 1.00 pm and Roberta soon afterwards. He informed Roberta that Bianzino was well and that he was worried about her. Maglio is the last civil person who has seen Bianzino alive. The next morning, October 14th, at 08.10 AM, Bianzino is found dead by two prison staff members.
On Tuesday October 16th, the legal doctor Lalli carried out the autopsy. He explained to the family and three lawyers that he had found injuries in Bianzino’s kidney, spleen, brain and ribs (two ribs are broken) even though the body did not show blood signs or bruises. His conclusion was that Aldo had died as a result of beatings inflicted on him in such a way that vital organs were destroyed without the presence of traces. On October 22nd, the local prosecutor, Petrazzini, started an investigation against the police officers who had arrested and guarded Bianzino.
On November 10th, medical doctor Fortuni carried out a new autopsy, changing completely the previous conclusions. In Fortuni’s report the injuries on the spleen and the broken ribs are not mentioned anymore. The conclusion of this report is that Aldo has died due to a brain haemorrhage and that the wounds on the liver are caused by the staff members in their efforts to reanimate him.
On January 10th, 2008, the prosecutor Petrazzini decides to close the investigation. According to the Italian authorities, the official cause of Aldo Bianzino’s death is brain haemorrhage. The family and friends of Aldo Bianzino have never accepted this conclusion. They have tried to obtain a conversation with the Italian government in which they can clear up some of their doubts on this version. Until now, Italian authorities have not responded to these efforts.
We ask you to do whatever possible to inform the Italian Minister of Justice, Interior and Foreign Affairs of this situation, urging them to contact the family of Aldo Bianzino and give them a proper explanation of what happened in the night between 13 and 14 October. We thank you very much for your co-operation and remain,
Sincerely, on behalf of ENCOD,
André Fürst, Marina Impallomeni, Jan Ludewig, Virginia Montañes, Joep Oomen, Fredrick Polak (steering committee)
EUROPEAN COALITION FOR JUST AND EFFECTIVE DRUG POLICIES – ENCOD vzw
Lange Lozanastraat 14, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0) 3 293 0886 / GSM: +32 (0) 495 122644
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org/ encod.org