Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Friday, July 07, 2006

Italian Military Intelligence Conducted Domestic Spying

From today's Corriere:

Change of venue sought
Disinformation on Prodi
SISMI’s secret files
Dossiers on magistrates; thousands of files and papers found in the attic of via Nazionale in Rome

by Giovanni Bianconi and Paolo Biondani

The current Premier, Romano Prodi. The former President of the National Magistrates Association, Edmondo Bruti Liberati. And many others. Judge Stefano Dambruoso, the first to open an investigation into the kidnapping of Abu Omar. These are the confirmed victims of the various SISMI activities that officials are labeling as “disinformation”, obstruction of justice, secret dossiers and domestic surveillance and wiretapping.

The chief suspect under investigation is Pio Pompa --a SISMI employee and close associate of Niccolò Pollari-- who ran a secret military spying operation out of No. 230, Via Nazionale, in the building in front of Rome police headquarters. The cabinets were overflowing with papers and data which have been seized by the authorities. Magistrates and police examining the material have found dossiers on individuals, journalists and judges on SISMI’s “Enemies List”. Among the papers and computers (at least 5), was a dossier on Premier Romano Prodi which Pompa forwarded to two Libero reporters who are now being investigated for having facilitated the kidnapping of Abu Omar.

The Deputy Director of the newspaper Libero, Renato Farina, was on the SISMI payroll: In Pompa's secret files investigators found receipts of payments. One reporter signed off on a receipt with the name "Betulla". The amounts ranged from 2,000 to 5000 euros, which in the minds of investigators, is certifiable and direct evidence of bribes paid by military intelligence. On 9 June Libero announced “revelations” on its front page: Prodi was said to have authorized the CIA prison flights via Italy while serving as President of the European Commission. The article was signed by Farina and editor-in-chief Claudio Antonelli, who is subordinate to Farina (Antonelli was introduced to SISMI as "my man”). Antonelli was questioned in behind closed doors in front an investigating magistrate. The statement about Prodi was shown to be a fabrication as no evidence was found in an international investigation.

But in Pompa’s office, investigators found the original dossier sent by Pompa to Farina containing the exact information found in the article, printed after Prodi became Premier. Another objective of the black operations run by SISMI relating to kidnapping of Abu Omar was to move the investigation from Milan to Brescia.



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