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Dino Budroni

Dino BudroniThe incident

Dino Budroni died at 40 at dawn on 30th July 2011 from a shot fired from a police patrol car on the Rome Grande Raccordo Anulare ring road. Budroni, at the wheel of his car, had been pursued by two patrol cars in a chase starting from the Tuscolana district, where his girlfriend had called the emergency 113 police number saying that he had threatened her and damaged the door to her home. According to the police officers in the first patrol car Budroni had evaded a police checkpoint by acting as if he was going to stop and then speeding off again suddenly, and the pursuit began from here, joined by a second patrol car and a Carabinieri patrol car. After a chase on the ring road, Budroni's Ford Focus got hemmed in and he was forced to stop. The shot, according to the lawyers acting for Budroni's family, was fired at that moment, without any order to fire having been given and at close range, when there was no need to stop the evader because he had already been stopped.

The trial

The trial over the death of Budroni began on 18th November 2013. The police officers from the patrol car Beta Como were present, together with the officer in charge of the other patrol car, the one the shot that killed Budroni was fired from. Also present in court were Luigi Manconi, President of the A Buon Diritto association, Lucia Uva, Ilaria Cucchi, the mother of Stefano Gugliotta and the lawyers acting for the Budroni family, Fabio Anselmo and Alessandra Pisa.
The police talked of a mad 120 mph car chase and said that the two shots (one of which killed Budroni) were fired because Budroni didn't halt, despite having been ordered to do so. According to the scientific police (RIS) however, the speed was actually 30-50 mph. The on-scene survey report notes that there were dents in the car bodywork, 1st gear was engaged and the handbrake was on; an audio excerpt (available only now as trial evidence) of a conversation between the patrol car Alfa 159 and the Carabinieri radio control room contains the account of a Carabinieri officer, Brigadiere P., who was on scene at the time, which calls into question the version of events sustained by the police up to 21st March 2014.

In the last hearing, presided over by Judge Roberto Polella, the testimony of D.G., the driver of Alfa 159 – the car that joined the two police vehicles in the chase – was heard. With him in the car that morning was Brigadiere P., who was talking on the radio first of all with the control room and then with another officer, Capitano A., describing what appeared to be an execution in cold blood. The Brigadiere described how Budroni had tried to ram the Alfa 159 police vehicle, without succeeding, and that the police had fired when Budroni's Focus was stuck against the guardrail, hemmed in by the Carabinieri car. M.P., charged with manslaughter aggravated by the use of excessive force in the legitimate use of a firearm, is alleged to have fired two shots from close range when Budroni's car was jammed against the guardrail, after crashing into it.

These audio excerpts were brought before the court thanks to Fabio Anselmo. The previous lawyers had not thought it necessary to focus on the ballistic and incident reports – the very reports that challenged certain key aspects of the defendants' reconstruction. Another unconvincing detail that came to light is that the two spent cartridge cases were found on the opposite side of the scene to where, according to the laws of physics, they should have been.

Further doubts arise over, for example, the telephone conversation transcripts, from which it emerges that the emergency 113 call was made not by Budroni's girlfriend but by a male friend of hers, a detail not included in the documents submitted to the court. Also, according to the transcripts, it seems that Budroni actually reached his girlfriend's house after the emergency call has been made. From a receipt found in his pocket, it can be seen that he bought a beer at a bar on the Nomentana road at 4:14 am. There was also a witness, F.C., a stallholder in the Val Melania market who uses that road every day to go to work. F.C. stated that on that 30th July morning he was on the outside lane of the ring road heading north from the main markets. When he reached the Nomentana road he saw a Ford Focus with the body of a man slouched forward over the steering wheel, dead. F.C. said that this was before 5 am, which doesn't coincide with the time given by the police, who stated in their testimony that the shooting took place at 5 am. F.C., despite being an eyewitness, was not called to testify.
Another strange twist: Dino Budroni, two years after he died, was sentenced by default to two years and one month in prison for theft and illegal possession of firearms. He had kept his girlfriend’s handbag in an attempt to convince her to come back home, and a crossbow and a scare-gun were found in his house. How Budroni can be sentenced when he is dead, given that the death of a defendant extinguishes the offence, is hard to understand.


Published: Wednesday, 18 February 2015 18:46

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