Convicted Shalabayeva cops transferred

Cortese, Improta moved after 5-yr convictions

(ANSA) - ROME, OCT 16 - Two senior Italian police officers who got five years in jail earlier this week in the abduction and extradition of the wife of a Kazakh dissident in 2013 have now been transferred, official sources said Friday.
    Palermo police chief Renato Cortese and railway police chief Maurizio Improta have been moved to other posts over the case of Alma Shalabayeva, wife of Mukhtar Ablyazov, who was expelled from Italy unjustly along with her six-year-old daughter.
    Italian police chief Franco Gabrielli said he had taken the decision to move the officers after the pair, and other policemen, were convicted in the case in Perugia on Wednesday.
    The first-instance court found that the extradition was in fact an act of kidnapping.
    Gabrielli said the move was a formality and he believed both men were innocent.
    He did not say what the two men's new posts would be.
    Gabrielli said the police had to respect sentences, even when they were not definitive.
    Palermo police chief Cortese was head of the Rome flying squad when Shalabayeva and her daughter were expelled.
    Railway police chief Improta was at the time the had of Rome's immigration office.
    They were both sentenced to five years in jail and banned from holding public office forever.
    They remain at liberty pending two appeals, the second and final one to the supreme Court of Cassation.
    Improta's defence team said his client would appeal the sentence "because it is the right thing to do".
    Another four less senior officers were sentenced to jail terms ranging from three and a half to five years. (ANSA).


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