Palermo gang rape: Yes to abbreviated trial, girl will return to court

The judges of the second section of the Palermo court, chaired by Roberto Murgia, have accepted the request to hold the trial with the fast-track procedure as requested by the lawyers of the six young defendants accused of group rape against a 19-year-old girl at the Foro Italico in Palermo. The lawyers have obtained that the young woman be heard in court. The hearing is scheduled for next July 5. The judges deemed well-founded the defenders’ application of Angelo Flores, Gabriele Di Trapani, Christian Maronia, Cristian Barone, Samuele La Grassa, and Elio Arnao. The young woman will be heard about the content of a phone call she received on the night of last July 7, in which the sexual violence would have occurred; at around 1:04 she received a 29-second call. Then there are also two messages sent around two o’clock from the victim’s cell phone. The lawyers may ask other questions, but always limited and they must be submitted to the judging panel by June 25. Also on the 5th, the person with whom the victim spoke that night during the call will be heard.

“There must be detailed questions about these events; both I and the public prosecutors will evaluate whether there will be objections and whether the questions will be leading or not,” says lawyer Carla Garofalo, who assists the young woman. “I am in favor of the fast-track trial. I do not believe that anything new can emerge compared to what has emerged so far. The facts remain the same. If they had ordered the ordinary trial, I would have resigned, I would not have faced a case in which I would have been forced to hear all kinds of unfounded attacks against my client since the facts are now very clear.”

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