Remains of the plane at the Museum for the Memory of Ustica, Bologna, Italy. From Wikipedia under CC BY-SA 3.0

French missile caused Ustica Massacre – Amato


Ex-premier Giuliano Amato has said in a newspaper article that a French missile was behind the mysterious 1980 Ustica plane crash. 81 people, including 13 children died in the Ustica disaster.

In Saturday’s La Repubblica, Ex-PM Amato said the Bologna-Palermo flight was hit in an attempt to assassinate late Libyan leader Gaddafi. The plane crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea between the islands of Ponza and Ustica on June 27, 1980.

“A plan was hatched to hit the aeroplane that Gaddafi was travelling on,” Amato said in the La Repubblica article.

“But the Libyan leader evaded the trap because he was warned by (late ex-premier Bettino) Craxi.

“Now the Elysee Palace can wash off the dishonour that weighs on (the conscience of) Paris”.

Daria Bonfietti, the president of the association of relatives of victims of the disaster, welcomed the revelation.

“These words are important and this is a correct reconstruction of everything that is in the documents, which we have known for years,” Bonfietti said.

The crash, which claimed the lives of 13 children, has been the object of numerous investigations, legal actions and accusations. There are many conspiracy theories in circulation.

Meloni asks Amato for evidence

PM Giorgia Meloni on Saturday called on Amato to come forward with any evidence he has.

“Giuliano Amato’s important words about Ustica deserve attention,” Meloni said. “But Amato specifies that those words are the fruit of personal deductions.

“I ask Amato to know if, in addition to the deductions, he is in possession of elements that make it possible to go back (and re-assess) the conclusions reached by the judiciary and parliament, and make them available so that the government can take any possible steps forward resulting from them”.

Meloni added that no documents regarding the Ustica disaster stemming from criminal investigations and the work of parliamentary commissions of inquiry were classified.

What is known of the Ustica disaster?

On 27 June 1980, Itavia Flight 870 (IH 870, AJ 421), en-route from Bologna to Palermo crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea between the islands of Ponza and Ustica. All 81 people on board perished.

The flight was delayed by three hours, and took off at 20:08 CEST from Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport. At 20:59 CEST, the aircraft broke apart in mid-air and crashed. Two Italian Air Force F-104s were scrambled at 21:00 from Grosseto Air Force Base to locate the accident area and search for any survivors.

Also known as the Ustica Massacre (strage di Ustica), the disaster led to numerous investigations, as well as legal actions and accusations. At the time, the PM Francesco Cossiga, attributed the crash to the plane being accidentally shot down during a dogfight between Libyan and French fighter jets.

This version was supported in 1999 by Judge Rosario Priore. In his concluding report, Priore said his investigation had been deliberately obstructed by the Italian military and secret service.

The perpetrators of the crime remain unidentified.

However, in 1989, the Parliamentary Commission on Terrorism, headed by Senator Giovanni Pellegrino, issued an official statement concerning the disaster. The crash was referred to as “primarily an act of war, a de facto unreported war – as has been customary ever since Pearl Harbor, until the latest Balkan conflict – an international police operation, in fact, up to the great powers, since there was no mandate in this sense; a non-military coercive action exercised lawfully or illicitly, by one State against another; or an act of terrorism, as it was later claimed, of an attack on a head of state or regime leader.”{Ordinanza-sentenza, 1999, p. 4965}

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