Rome teargas probe results 'to be made public' says Severino

Justice Minister says 'no outsiders' in building during protests

Rome teargas probe results 'to be made public' says Severino

Rome, November 19 - Italian Justice Minister Paola Severino said Monday she would make public the results of an ongoing internal investigation into the possible misuse of teargas against anti-austerity protesters last week. On Wednesday police clashed with protesters on a European Union-wide day of anti-austerity protests. In one incident, amateur video showed what appeared to be teargas canisters coming from the direction of the justice ministry building. The following day Severino launched an internal investigation. "I want justice to prevail in this country," she said. "For this reason I will make the investigation results public and share them with Rome prosecutors". The idea of tear gas being fired directly from the ministry at protesters below prompted some commentators to recall the so-called Years of Lead of political violence of the 1970s and 80s. The Rome police department has admitted to using the teargas but has countered accusations of firing from the ministry building, saying the canisters had been aimed away from protesters but then ricocheted off of the ministry building. On Monday, Severino said surveillance cameras showed no signs of any non-ministry employees entering the building. "From viewing the complete surveillance recordings, you can see that no outsiders entered the justice ministry," she said. Rome prosecutors have also launched an investigation into possible police brutality across the city during the marred event, and Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri has vowed that officers who used excessive violence will be punished. The probe will also look into any unlawful behavior on the part of protesters, who filled streets in the thousands.

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