Murdered envoy’s father attacks Italian government complicity with 'arrogant' WFP

Salvatore Attanasio, father of murdered ambassador Luca

 ROME – The father of the Italian ambassador, Luca Attanasio, killed in Congo while travelling in a WFP convoy has given an interview to Il Fatto Quotidiano, on the topic of the preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday in which a decision could be taken to trial of the two World Food Programme (WFP) officials, Rocco Leone and Mansour Rwagaza, accused of culpable homicide and failure to take precautions in the triple homicide in Congo of Ambassador Luca Attanasio, the carabiniere Vittorio Iacovacci, and the UN agency driver, Mustapha Milambo.

 The Italian State, however, has not yet decided whether to file a civil suit as would be normal in such a situation when a senior public servant has been murdered.

 As revealed by Il Fatto Quotidiano, it is possible that behind this hesitancy there is the fear of a diplomatic clash with the UN agencies that have highlighted the "risk of damaging a long and positive tradition of cooperation and mutual support between FAO, WFP and the Italian government.”

 Salvatore Attanasio, the father of Luca Attanasio, said: “We have repeatedly asked for the government to join the civil action -- in words everyone says yes, but the fact is that to date this has not happened. If it does not happen, they will have to explain why to the citizens and they will have to provide very valid reasons: Luca and Vittorio represented the Italian State...the State is the injured party, one of its ambassadors and one of its chosen Carabinieri were killed in the performance of their duties."

 "If Palazzo Chigi were not to join the civil action, it would generate many doubts and would reveal Italy's weakness in relation to the World Food Programme.”

 On the topic of diplomatic immunity which WFP had repeatedly cited as a reason why its employees could not be questioned by Italian magistrates, Mr Attanasio said, “As far as I am concerned, I consider this absolutely arrogant behaviour: we are talking about a triple murder."

 "Immunity serves to protect an official from harassment of various kinds in the country in which he or she operates, but if this official commits crimes, there is no immunity that matters... What is the point of this strategy anyway? Those who are guilty of crimes are not worthy to be in the United Nations. Otherwise, the question arises: what does WFP want to cover up?”