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Italy recalls its 'years of lead'

09/05/2013

'We must have the will to know the truth' says Senate Speaker

Italy recalls its 'years of lead'

(By Christopher Livesay) Rome, May 9 - The Senate Speaker on Thursday said much needed to be done to ensure that the whole truth be revealed behind Italy's decades of political violence and terrorism. "Remembering is not enough," said Pietro Grasso on Victims of Terrorism Memorial Day. "We must have the iron will to know the entire truth, even that which has remained hidden, and to understand why it has not been possible to fully shine light on the massacres". Left- and right-wing extremist violence known as the 'years of lead' marked the 1970s and 1980s in Italy, including the kidnapping of former Italian premier Aldo Moro on this day in 1978 by members of the Marxist-Leninist Red Brigades (BR). His body was found between the Christian Democrat and Communist Party headquarters 55 days later. Earlier in the day Grasso, along with House Speaker Laura Boldrini and President Giorgio Napolitano, laid a wreath in Rome's via Caetani, where Moro's bullet-ridden body was discovered in the trunk of a car. Since his death, theories have been rife on the possibility of the terrorists being infiltrated and manipulated by politicians and secret services working to keep the Italian Communist Party out of power and take revenge for Moro's overtures to them. The full complement and identities of all the terrorists who took part in the attack on Moro have never been satisfactorily established. It has also been frequently suggested that security forces did not do enough to free Moro, and that the BR was 'used' to assassinate him. The case even had links to seven-time premier Giulio Andreotti, who died Monday at 94. Italian judge Ferdinando Imposimato said Wednesday that Andreotti and Francesco Cossiga were "Aldo Moro's executioners" for "blocking a raid to free him because they wanted him to die" for political reasons. A year after Moro's murder, right-wing investigative reporter Carmine (Mino) Pecorelli was forced to withdraw an edition of the weekly Osservatore Politico which showed Andreotti on the cover. Pecorelli was shot four times and killed later that night. He was said to be preparing to publish damaging revelations linking Andreotti to Moro's abduction and killing. The supreme court later ruled that the links to Andreotti were based solely on hearsay and speculation. The last probe into Moro was shelved in 2008. "As a political representative, I feel responsible for our judicial system that has failed to find the truth in time to bring about justice," said Grasso. "The truth is now known and the murderers have confessed. Never again shall justice be denied". Details surrounding many other violent incidents in the period remain unknown. The president said Italy's ability to overcome the years of lead proves the country is capable of solving its current economic crisis and political divisions, marked by a left-right coalition government that was forged after two months of political stalemate following February's inconclusive elections. "Italy has overcome not just moments of tension but tragic periods as well that exposed it to extreme risk," he said. "If we could overcome those moments, we can overcome the current challenges".