Cucchi Carabiniere to testify by Jan

'I'm reborn, did my duty' says Tedesco

(ANSA) - Rome, October 12 - A Carabiniere who on Thursday sensationally fingered two fellow officers for an alleged beating that caused the 2009 death of Rome draughtsman Stefano Cucchi will testify by the end of January, judicial sources said Friday.
    Francesco Tedesco, himself accused of involuntary manslaughter in the case, will be asked to repeat his charges against Raffaele D'Alessandro and Alessio Di Bernardo.
    Tedesco said Thursday, according to his lawyer Friday: "I am reborn. Now I don't care if I am found guilty of thrown out of the corps.
    "I did my duty; what I wanted to do from the start and which I was prevented from doing".
    Cucchi, 31, died in a custodial hospital wing on the night between October 22 and 23, 2009, a week after he was picked up on minor drug charges.
    Cucchi's body had many injuries that his family said were the result of brutality.
    Tedesco, one of three cops suspected of the beating, gave a statement in which he accused the other two, Di Bernardo and D'Alessandro.
    "I said 'no more, what the f**k are you doing,'" Tedesco said he told Di Bernardo and D'Alessandro during the beating in questioning with investigators on July 9.
    "It was a combined act. Cucchi started to lose his balance due to a kick by D'Alessandro and then there was a violent push by Di Bernardo, which made him lose balance and caused a violent fall on his pelvis.
    "Di Bernardo pushed but D'Alessandro struck with a kick in Cucchi's face while he was lying on the ground". The breakthrough came after a long legal battle featuring several trials in which it frequently appeared that no one would be brought to justice for Cucchi's death.
    "Today there was a significant turning point for the trial and redemption for my client and the whole Carabinieri force," said Tedesco's lawyer, Eugenio Pini.
    Cucchi's sister Ilaria, who has relentlessly campaigned for justice for her brother, said that "the wall has been knocked down.
    "Now lots of people will have to apologize". Two other Carabinieri are also on trial - Roberto Mandolini for calumny and making false statements, and Vincenzo Nicolardi, for calumny. Interior Minister and Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini invited Ilaria Cucchi and the rest of the family to the interior ministry.
    "Eventual crimes or mistakes by very few men in uniform must be punished with utmost severity," Salvini said.
    "But this cannot put into doubt the daily professionalism and heroism of hundreds and thousand of young men and women in the police forces". Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta, who the Carabinieri answer to, vowed that "those who have stained themselves with this crime will pay". The director of a film now showing across Italy on the case called Sulla Mia Pelle (On My Skin), Alessio Cremonini, told ANSA: "That damn door is opening, though it's just a hearing and not a sentence, I hope they reach truth and justice".
    "We always imagined that Stefano didn't fall down the stairs," said Cremonini, whose film stars Alessandro Borghi as Stefano and Jasmine Trinca as Ilaria Cucchi.