Defence cries foul over teens charged in Italy cop killing

ROME - Defence lawyers in the case of two American teenagers accused of slaying an Italian police officer in Rome complained Friday that translations of conversations intercepted in the suspects’ jail were so poorly done that the meaning of the words plays out in the prosecution’s favour.

Roberto Capra said in a phone interview that whoever prepared the transcripts for the prosecution also committed the “grave deed” of omitting conversations his client had with family members and a personal U.S. lawyer that were deemed helpful for the defence.

The Turin-based lawyer is on the defence team for Finnegan Lee Elder in the murder trial which begins next week,

Elder and friend Gabriel Natale-Hjorth are accused in the fatal stabbing of the officer in July 2019, a few hours after a drug deal gone bad. Carabinieri officer Mario Cerciello Rega was stabbed 11 times and his fellow plainclothes office assaulted in a scuffle, prosecutors say. They allege Elder knifed Cerciello Rega and Natale-Hjorth assaulted the other officer.

Earlier, the Americans had gone to a rendezvous near their hotel in Rome after allegedly demanding their money back and some cocaine in the wake of what prosecutors say was a botched drug deal. The officers went to meet the pair, following a complaint by the alleged deal’s go-between, to retrieve a backpack with a phone inside that he claimed the Americans had snatched from him.

In one of the translations, published in two Italian newspapers this week, a U.S.-based lawyer, while speaking with the jailed Elder, discussed making motions to the court. But according to the transcript prepared for the prosecution, the lawyer proposed “playing on emotions to win sympathy with the court.”

Capra said given the defence’s objections the trial judge will assign an impartial translator to prepare a new transcript.

“We’ll fight in court to have (translation) errors corrected, but it’s a grave deed” regarding omissions from the transcript. In one such key omission, Elder tells his lawyer he didn’t know Cerciello Rega was a police officer but thought he was some “random criminal guy.“
Read more on Toronto Star
News Topics :
Similar Articles :
ROME The lawyer for one of two American teenagers being held in the slaying of an Italian police officer said Saturday that he has dropped a request for his...
MILAN A lawyer for an American teenager jailed in Rome in connection with the fatal stabbing of an Italian police officer has petitioned a court for his client’s release....
ROME A lawyer for one of two American teens jailed in the investigation of an Italian police officer’s slaying has petitioned for his client’s release. Francesco Petrelli said Friday...
ROME The lawyer for one of two American teenagers being held in the slaying of an Italian police officer says he has dropped a request for his client to...
ROME Both American teens jailed in Rome in the fatal stabbing of an Italian police officer now have private lawyers and family members in Italy. Ethan Elder, father of...