Justice has been served, 24 years later. Alessandro Panella and Luigi Zabara, in 1999 two corporals of the Folgore paratroopers brigade, were sentenced to 26 and 18 years in prison for the murder of Emanuela Scieri, the young Sicilian recently graduated in Law who had decided to join the military service in the paramilitaries and a body was found at the foot of a tower of the Pisa barracks on August 16, 1999. The first instance sentence was pronounced this afternoon by the Criminal Court of Pisa presided over by Judge Beatrice Dani. The verdict, which was to arrive on June 14 but which the judges had postponed until today to hear as witnesses three women who at the time of the events frequented by the two defendants, arrived after six hours of deliberation. The prosecutors, Alessandro Crini (Pisa prosecutor) and Sisto Restuccia had asked for 24 and 21 years.
In addition to the sentence imposed on the two former corporals for aggravated voluntary manslaughter for trivial reasons, the Criminal Court of Pisa, also condemned the Ministry of Defense to compensation for damages to civil parties, set at a provisional 200,000 euros for Emanuele’s mother, Isabella Guarino, and 150,000 euros for her brother Francesco Scieri. The Ministry of Defense also appeared in the trial as a civil party and therefore, in addition to the victim’s relatives, the two former corporals must indemnify the same ministry with 80,000 euros. “My brother will not be returned to us but now there is a truth, the one that we have always wanted, both my parents and I – commented Francesco Scieri, Emanuele’s brother -. They fought until the end to have such an important day and finally a sentence of conviction for the guilty, for those who were wrong. We wanted the truth and today a page of truth has been written.
According to the indictment, Zabara and Panella, along with Andrea Antico (acquitted in November 2021 with an abbreviated rite), on the night of August 13, 1999, they forced Emanuele Scieri to climb the parachute drying tower, after beating him and forcing him to undress. The young man would then have fallen trying to escape while one of his companions pressed his knuckles with his boots.. According to the indictment, Scieri’s death could have been prevented if the corporals had not fled immediately after his fall. His body under a table was later found on August 16. Hence the charge of voluntary manslaughter. According to the Pisa prosecutor’s office, a climate of hazing reigned in the Gamerra barracks of which even the leaders accused of covering up the event were aware. HEaccused of aiding and abetting were former Major Salvatore Romondia and former General Enrico Celentano, both acquitted along with Ancient with abbreviated rite. The Pisa prosecutor’s office has already appealed this acquittal: the debate will be oral and will take place on October 11.
“Frankly, we didn’t expect it. because the hearing investigation had shown the absolute lack of reliability of the witness Meucci and of the evidentiary element. This morning a preliminary investigation had been carried out that did not clarify anything in our opinion. In any case, the sentences are expected, read and challenged. We will appeal.” This is the comment of the lawyer Andrea Di Giuliomaria, defender of the former corporal Zabarapresent in the classroom but left immediately after reading the device.
The sentence presents the Ministry of Defense in the double role of civil responsible and civil party. The role of civil liability is linked to the fact that the matter took place inside the barracks and the defendants were employees of the Ministry of Defense. However, the Ministry itself had requested and obtained its admission as a civil party, believing itself harmed by the conduct of the accused.