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Fan convicted of police slaying appeals to European court

Demands Italy pay one million euros in compensation

18 December, 16:03
Fan convicted of police slaying appeals to European court (ANSA) - Catania, December 18 - Lawyers representing Antonino Speziale, a Catania soccer fan who was handed a definitive conviction last year in the 2007 slaying of a police officer, on Wednesday filed an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, claiming the Italian State had violated human rights and should be ordered to pay one million euros in compensation to their client.

In particular, the attorneys said Italy had violated art. 6 of the European convention on human rights.

"A young man was convicted for a very serious crime he did not commit, without effective evidence against him, and lost his freedom and his loved ones while his life will be forever scarred by this experience," his lawyers said in a statement.

Speziale was initially sentenced to 14 years in jail in February 2010 for attacking police inspector Filippo Raciti, 38, during the Sicilian derby between Catania and Palermo.

He was originally tried by a first instance minors' court because he was 16 at the time of the incident, on February 2, 2007, and then by a minors' appeals court in 2011 which cut the sentence to 11 years in jail. Last year, Italy's highest appeals court, the Cassation, confirmed the convictions but further reduced the term to eight years.

Daniele Micale, 23, was also convicted for helping Speziale attack Raciti.

The police inspector received fatal internal injuries as Catania fans fought police with metal bars and powerful firecrackers while trying to attack their Palermo rivals.

Police said the two fans hit Raciti, who died later in hospital of liver injuries, with parts of metal pipings ripped from a stadium toilet.

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