Rome

Paratrooper didn't commit suicide, was attacked (3)

Hazing was tolerated, says parliament inquiry report

Paratrooper didn't commit suicide, was attacked (3)

Rome, December 6 - Emanuele Scieri, a young paratrooper found dead in a Pisa barracks in August 1999, did not commit suicide, as the head of the Folgore parachute regiment had suggested, but was attacked before he died, according to a report by a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the fatality. The report, released after 20 months of work by the commission, said that there was "a surprisingly high level of tolerance towards hazing" at Pisa's Gamerra barracks. "We hope that our work can give truth and justice to the memory of Emanuele," it said. The commission was launched after the young man's parents vowed to fight for justice when prosecutors closed the book on the case. Scieri, 26, was found on August 16, 1999 at the foot of a ladder connected to a parachute jump-training tower. Autopsy results showed the man, a brand-new Folgore Brigade trainee who had just arrived at the Gamerra barracks in Pisa, suffered multiple injuries in a fall and survived for hours before dying during the night between August 13 and 14. The criminal investigation looked into the possibility that the victim had been pushed or forced to climb up the tower, while Army General Enrico Celentano, in a published interview soon after the trainee's death, wondered publicly whether the incident could have been the result of hazing. According to one account, injuries to Scieri's hands were consistent with him trying to stop himself sliding down the tower to his death. There was speculation at the time that a macho test of strength may have been the prelude to Scieri slipping. Prosecutors said homicide investigation did not produced enough evidence to press any charges.

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