The protracted saga of kidnapped politician Aldo Moro continued on several fronts in Italy on Tuesday and Wednesday (25 and 26 April).
GV INTERIOR: court house in Turin in with Red Brigades in cage. (4 shots)
SV AND GV: police searching cars in Rome. (2 shots)
CU: newspaper appeal to Red Brigades. (3 shots)
SV: United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim speaking in English on Italian Television.
SV PAN: street in Rome where Christian Democrat Girolamo Mechelli was shot, with blood on ground.
SCU: newsmen in the Policlinico Hospital, Rome.
SCU: Mechelli being interviewed in Hospital bed.
GV: police road and air search after the Mechelli shooting (3 shots)
GV: farm house
SV: police outside farm house. (3 shots)
WALDHEIM: "I have continued to follow closely developments in the case of Aldo Noro, and I have on several occasions, appealed for his release. Now, according to the latest information reaching me, matters have reached a decisive stage. Surely, you know that you have directed world-wide attention to your demands. But, surely you should also recognise that the continued detention of Mr Moro, with the terrible anguish that this causes his family and concerned individuals everywhere, can only damage what purposes you seek to serve. So, once more, I urge most strongly that you spare his life."
NBC REPORTER FRED BRIGGS:"They were waiting for 54-year-old Girolamo Mechelli, a minor Christian Democrat party official, when he left his apartment this morning. They shot him in the legs, aiming at the kneecap, a crippling tactic the Red Brigades borrowed from the IRA. He was taken to a hospital, condition not serious, but his attackers got away.
The wounding of Signor Mechelli was at least the 18th violent attack on an individual for apparently political motives in Italy this year. The anonymous tip-off appeared to be another in a series of hoaxes that have harried police, who have to check them in all, just in case they are authentic. On Tuesday (25 April) in Rome, the State Prosecutor investigating Signor Moro's abduction issued arrest warrants for nine suspects charged with involvement in murder and kidnapping.
PART EUROVISION TELERECORDING
REPORTER: FRED BRIGGS
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The protracted saga of kidnapped politician Aldo Moro continued on several fronts in Italy on Tuesday and Wednesday (25 and 26 April). On Tuesday, the United Nations Secretary General, Dr Kurt Waldheim, appealed on Italian television for Signor Moro's Red Brigades abductors to spare his life. The following day Pope Paul made a similar plea, the latest of several from the Pontiff, when he received hundreds of pilgrims in the audience hall at the side of St Peter's Basilica. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, an emotional letter from Signor Moro's family was published on the front pages of newspapers throughout Italy. Addressed to 'Dear Papa', the letter said they were praying for him and hoped to see him again. In Turin, at the Red Brigades' continuing trial, their leader, Renato Curcio appeared in court for the first time since the kidnappers announced their terms for Signor Moro's release. The abductors threatened to kill their captive unless Curcio, three lieutenants who are appearing with him in court, plus another nine Red Brigades members, were released. The extremists were thought responsible for the wounding in Rome on Wednesday of a prominent Christian Democrat, Signor Girolamo Mechelli, who was shot in the legs outside his suburban home.
SYNOPSIS: Inside the court, Curcio and the other prisoners sat impassively in their cage during the 26th day of their trial for subversion. A succession of minor witnesses confirmed or clarified statements first made to magistrates four years ago.
In Rome, police continued their patient searching, which has become as ingrained as part of daily life there as pasta for luncheon. Public emotion which has not abated in the six weeks since Signor Moro was kidnapped, was heightened by publication of his family's letter, and by Dr Waldheim's television appeal.
Later today, police converged on a highway 13 miles outside Rome, after a newspaper got an anonymous call saying Aldo Moro had been released, and could be found at this location. Well, he wasn't. Only a farmhouse. Of course, today's anonymous call could have come from a crank, but false alarms seem to be part of the Red Brigades' strategy to keep the authorities and the government on edge.