Yesterday a criminal complaint was filed with the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Rome, asking the judiciary to verify the presence of nuclear weapons on Italian territory and to establish their illegality based on national and international law. The complaint, published this morning in Ghedi – the site of an Italian and NATO airfield – consists of several annexes and is signed by more than twenty leaders of various organisations, represented by the lawyer Ugo Giannangeli: among them are Abbasso la Guerra (Down with war), Donne e uomini contro la Guerra (Women and men against war), Associazione Papa Giovanni XXIII (Pope John XXIII Association), Centro di documentazione del Manifesto Pacifista Internazionale (International Pacifist Manifesto Documentation Centre), Tavola della Pace Friuli Venezia Giulia (Table for Peace Friuli Venezia Giulia), Rete Diritti Accoglienza Solidarietà Internazionale, Pax Christi (Rights Reception Solidarity International Network, Pax Christi), Pressenza, WILPF, Centro sociale 28 maggio (28 May Social Centre). Among the individual signatories are personalities such as Moni Ovadia and Alex Zanotelli.
This is the latest addition to a decade-long campaign against the presence of nuclear weapons in Italy, a country that has never made this choice, but which for years has been home to several bombs that can be airlifted and launched. A violation of our rules, protected by military secrecy and involving an unspecified number of devices: it is believed to be close to a hundred.
The trial may not lead to the disclosure of military secrets. Still, the defence’s opposition to secrecy would be an implicit admission of both the existence of the bombs and responsibility for them. The case and its legal development will not be easy. But it is thought that within a month, according to Claudio Giangiacomo – the lawyer who physically presented the complaint – the prosecution could hand the case over to a judge, starting an uncertain process but reigniting the debate about the presence of nuclear bombs in Italy.
The bombs are, as we all know, such a secret that they are now public knowledge. All it takes is a photo that appeared on Facebook a few years ago of about a hundred pilots and military personnel stationed at Ghedi posing in front of a B61 (on the cover), sister to the even more deadly latest generation B61-12. This secret has been shared and kept secret by all the governments of the Republic, none excluded. It will now be up to the judiciary to decide whether the great national lie can become a shared truth.
In the text a moment of the presentation press conference at the Ghedi military base (photo by Lorenzo Poli of Pressenza)