Right-to-die activist Cappato acquitted

Case regards 'assisted suicide' of tetraplegic

(ANSA) - Milan, December 23 - A Milan court on Monday acquitted right-to-die activist Marco Cappato of charges of assisting suicide after he helped 40-year-old blind and tetraplegic Italian ex-DJ Fabiano Antoniani, better known as DJ Fabo, take his own life at a Swiss clinic in 2017.
    The case returned to Milan after the Constitutional Court ruled in September that assisting suicide is lawful in some cases when asked for an opinion on it.
    Cappato, a Radical party member, said "I acted for freedom of choice and fo thr right to individual self-determination".
    He was acquitted with the full formula of "a crime was not committed," judicial sources said.
    The sentence was greeted with a long round of applause from the court.
    DJ Fabo's former girlfriend, Valeria Imbrugno, said he would have celebrated the verdict.
    "What I can say is that Fabiano today, together with me, would have celebrated because it is a battle he believed in from the start," she said.
    "It is a battle for the freedom of all".
    The sentence was hailed by Italian right to die groups and progressive politicians. The head of the right to die Luca Coscioni Association, Filomena Gallo, said "today's acquittal of Marco Cappato gives freedom to freedom." She said that "the road that we started out on was the right one, from the start".
    Gallo also called for the Italian political world to now take action on the basis of the sentence and legislate on end of life issues.
    "Politics is at a standstill on these issues and there has not been any law on end of life issues and euthanasia since 2013," she said.
    The Coscioni association's lawyer, Massimo Rossi, said the verdict represented a "step forward towards civilisation, not only juridical".
    The Italian Green Party said "Cappato's acquittal is an act of civilisation".
    Francesca Businarolo of the ruling anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), who is the chair of the Lower House justice committee, said she hoped that "the principles established by the sentence will soon be enshrined in our legal system, and we are working to ensure that".
    Civil Service Minister Fabiana Dadoine said "parliament must overcome its misgivings and act to raise the level of civilisation of our country".
    The prosecutor in the case, Tiziana Siciliano, called for "lawmakers to give a law to others that are hoping".
    Conservative MPs said the law "sets a dangerous precedent" and recalled that the Catholic Church is against euthanasia and assisting suicide.
   

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