Stable owners arrested after 'torturing employee'

The stables in Caluso, Turin

 CALUSO-- Two stable owners from Turin province have been arrested on charges of allegedly kidnapping and viciously torturing a stable hand, suspecting that he leaked information to a popular television programme about their mistreating horses with electric shocks. Both the stablehand's arms were broken as he was beaten while hung upside down in a stable and one owner threatened to "disembowel him like a goat." 

 Salvatore Carvelli, 63, and Camilla Cassina, 29, have been arrested on the counts of bodily harm, kidnapping and attempted extortion. The couple thought their stable hand, Giovanni Santi, 61 years old, was responsible for exposing their mistreatment of horses, which resulted in a raid by the animal welfare guards in February, later broadcasted by Striscia la Notizia. They kidnapped their employee, beating him until they broke both his arms, police said.

 The shocking events started in the morning, when Santi’s employer invited him to have a coffee, and showed him the video from the Canale 5 broadcast.

 “I told her that she got the wrong guy” he said “I didn’t contact Striscia.”

 Just after he left the bar, Carvelli hit him with a plank of wood, knocking him out. When the stable hand woke up, he found himself hanging upside down, aching everywhere. The stable owner tried to cut off his fingers with scissors, and then threatened to kill him, saying he would “disembowel him like a goat.”

 At one point, Santi thought they really would kill him, “we’ll get a digger and bury him somewhere, then we’ll hide the machine and light the pit on fire” he heard Carvelli, one of the owners, say, while he was hanging upside down.

 The threats continued right up to their arrest, “even when we left the hospital, they insisted that I dropped charges against them, that they knew my daughter often came to visit me where I live,” the stable hand told La Stampa.

 The police not only arrested the pair, but they also investigated their stables in Caluso, where they found an instrument used to give electric shocks to the horses, as well as various expired drugs. The investigators also found numerous animal carcasses that had been disposed of illegally, discovering the remains with a digger. The Carabinieri came across a series of breaches and irregularities, including the stables’ certification, which claimed that there were more animals on the site than the reality.