Pair who paralysed swimmer get 16 yrs

Court says attack on Manuel Bortuzzo was premeditated

(ANSA) - Rome, October 9 - Two men were sentenced to 16 years in prison by a Rome judge on Wednesday for shooting and paralysing promising Italian swimmer Manuel Bortuzzo in February.
    Lorenzo Marinelli and Daniel Bazzano were accused of the attempted homicide of Bortuzzo and his girlfriend Martina Rossi in relation to the shooting outside a Rome nightclub on the night between February 2 and 3.
    The court accepted the prosecution's argument that the attack was premeditated. The two men had confessed to shooting Bortuzzo, who is paralysed from the waist down.
    The said they shot him by mistake, having confused him with someone they had had a scuffle with.
    Prosecutors had requested they be given 20-year terms.
    "This sentence doesn't change things: it certainly won't give me my legs back," said Bortuzzo. "At the moment I'm just thinking about recovering, aware that justice must run its course.
    "I don't care about knowing if the persons who hurt me get 16 or 20 years in jail.
    "No sentence will make me return to what I was before.
    "My dream is to walk again and I'm working hard every d ay to realise it".