Italian extremists have shot four people on the eve of Milan's urban guerrilla trial on Tuesday (1 April).
GV: Justice Palace in Milan with newsmen outside
SV: Police vans moving into court (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR: Courtroom scenes with accused behind bars.(2 shots)
SV: Judges taking set
SV: Courtroom scenes with heavy police guard. (2 shots)
GV: Christian Democratic Party headquarters
SV: Poster of Aldo Moro PAN TO bloodstained floor
SV: Bloodstained floor and bullets on floor (2 shots)
GV EXTERIOR: Hospital
SV INTERIOR: Victim in hospital bed being questioned
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Background: Italian extremists have shot four people on the eve of Milan's urban guerrilla trial on Tuesday (1 April). Two men and a woman burst into a branch office of the Christian Democratic Party in Milan and kneecapped four party officials. The attack came only a few hors before the trial opened of thirty suspected members of Italy's Prima Linea guerrilla movement.
SYNOPSIS: Milan's Justice Place resembled a building under siege on Wednesday (2 April) morning as newsmen and police prepared for the trial of thirty suspected urban guerrillas. Armoured police vans brought the alleged members of Prima Linea -- or Front Line -- through spectator-lined streets to the court building. The defendants face charges of subversion and belonging to armed gangs. If proven the charges carry stiff penalties.
Inside the courtroom security is strict. The defendants sit behind bars, and members of Italy's Carrabinieri para-military police force are on guard.
The trial has attracted considerable publicity, not least of all because the investigating magistrate who was in charge of the case, 48-year old Guido Galli, was shot dead last month (March) by Front Line gunmen. Galli was one of three magistrates assassinated within four days.
Meanwhile, at the branch offices of the Christian Democratic Party, a blood-stained floor and spent cartridges remain as reminders of a guerrilla attack the night before. Three urban guerrillas, two men and a woman, burst into a meeting here on Tuesday night (1 April), which was attended by about 30 party officials and supporters. The attackers opened fire, kneecapping four CPD officials. After taking personal documents from others at the meeting, the attackers fled. It was the latest skirmish in the all-out war between urban guerrillas and Italian authorities.
The government spends millions each year on anti-terrorist operations, and after a series of raids carried out last week it believed to have crushed several guerrilla strongholds. But the graffiti left in the CDP offices suggest different.
And there is at least one man in Milan hospital who will dispute the government's belief, too. He is recovering from his gunshot wounds. -- and helping police with their inquiries. But in a country where guerrilla attacks have become almost a daily occupance, inquiries into guerrilla activities are a mammoth task.