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Justice minister orders probe into serial killer's release

'Don't jump to conclusions about system',says Cancellieri

20 December, 11:11
Justice minister orders probe into serial killer's release (ANSA) - Rome, December 20 - Justice Minister Annamaria Cancellieri told the House Friday that she has ordered a full investigation into the release of a serial killer from prison on a good-behaviour pass.

She also urged calm and asked that people try not to judge the entire system by this affair.

"The affair has raised alarm and public concern," the minister said as she briefed parliament about the case.

"I have directed that a full investigation is conducted". As she spoke, the search continued for the fugitive serial killer who took advantage of a good-behavior leave from prison to take flight to Genoa earlier this week.

Police called Bartolomeo Gagliano, 55, "very dangerous".

Gagliano was convicted of three murders and an attempted murder in the 1980s, and served a number of years in a criminal psychiatric ward. His criminal past includes robberies, extortion, narcotics and arms possession, and fleeing from psychiatric hospitals, authorities said.

Gagliano had a year and a few months left on his sentence for attempted extortion, when he failed to show up as scheduled from his leave at the Marassi prison, in the periphery of Genoa, on Tuesday morning at 9:00.

Twelve hours later, he was officially declared a fugitive.

Cancelleri told parliament that the entire justice system should not be judged by this incident.

"(People) should not jump to conclusions about institutions after a single incident," she said.

Still, there are concerns the case could jeopardize prison reforms.

The judge who authorised Gagliano's prison-leave permit said Thursday that her decision had been legitimate.

"The permit was issued on legitimate foundations, after a long study of reports that said for some time there had been a balancing of the psychiatric disorder, lucidity, capacity to cooperate, tranquility and no signs of being psychopathic," said judge Daniela Verrina.