Man facing bankruptcy fraud executes judge in Milan
Three were killed on Thursday when a defendant in a bankruptcy case breached security at the iconic Palace of Justice and started shooting.
A judge and two others were killed on Thursday when a man at the centre of a bankruptcy fraud breached security at the Palace of Justice in Milan and started shooting. News of the shooting reached Interior Minister Angelino Alfano as he held a meeting in Milano on security measures for EXPO, the global event due to start on May 1st.
Policemen run out of the tribunal building in Milan, Italy, after a shooting was reported inside a courtroom Thursday, April 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
The shooter, a defendant in a high-profile bankruptcy fraud case, entered the Palace of Justice on April 9 with a number of undetected weapons and shot several people. He then deliberately sought out Judge Fernando Ciampi, who was presiding over the case, entered Ciampi’s office and shot him dead at his desk. A young lawyer was also killed, and a third person injured in the shooting later died at hospital.
The Palace — an iconic symbol of Italy’s justice system — was evacuated as police searched for and finally arrested the shooter.
The attack came as Italy’s Interior Minister met with senior officials in Milano’s prefecture to discuss security measures ahead of the upcoming Expo Milano 2015, a global exposition of ideas that will be hosted in Milan for six months.
Gunshots were heard inside the tribunal in the late morning. The news quickly spread on social media. People calling a local radio station from an adjacent room said that the police asked them to remain inside with their backs to the wall. Several shots were fired, they said. The main prosecutor later confirmed that 13 shots were fired.
The remaining clerks and lawyers were evacuated from the building — first the women (as the shooter was identified as a man), then, more slowly, the men upon showing their IDs.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera set up a live feed; clerks were seen hurriedly exiting the Palace from a side door, holding their legal papers but without coats or cellphones, and then asking onlookers what happened.
Adriano Attus, creative director of newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, found himself explaining to them.
The shooter was identified as Claudio Giardiello, 57, a defendant in a relevant bankruptcy case. According to reports, Giardiello wanted revenge against his former lawyer who resigned the case. Giardiello was at first believed to be still in the building, but managed to flee. He was later arrested in Vimercate, a small city 25 km away from Milan, as Interior Minister Angelino Alfano confirmed on Twitter:
The large area around the Palace of Justice, in the heart of the city, was cordoned off for hours, and private and public transport traffic diverted.
Milan is at the heart of Italy’s economy, and the Palace of Justice is a symbolic building for national justice and the fight against corruption. In the past, it was the place where solidarity rallies were held against Berlusconi’s attacks on magistrates investigating on his tax frauds, at the time when he was prime minister. With EXPO starting on May 1, millions of visitors are expected amid a fear or terrorist attacks. Many will now wonder how weapons could go undetected and be brought inside.