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1ST LEAD Italian cop who shot Berlin attacker: It was either me or him By Alvise Armellini, dpa

Europe
17.12.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Rome (dpa) - The Italian policeman who shot dead Berlin Christmas market attacker Anis Amri says he thinks about last year‘s events "often," and insists he had no choice but to kill.

"Yes I killed a man. And I think about it often," officer Luca Scata says in a Sunday interview with La Repubblica newspaper, two days before the anniversary of the terrorist attack in which Tunisian Anis Amri killed 12 people and injured dozens.

Four days later, Amri was intercepted by Scata and patrol colleague Christian Movio outside the train station of Sesto San Giovanni, a northern suburb of Milan, and killed in a shoot-out which left Movio with a bullet in his shoulder.

"I fired a single shot. And I did not have time to aim for a particular part of the body. I only remember that while I was pulling the trigger, I thought that man had decided to die [...] because either I was going to shoot him or he would have shot again," Scata said.

Amri was stopped because as soon as he saw the police patrol car, he started walking faster, and gave nervous answers when asked who he was and where he was going, Scata said, adding he thought the Tunisian was a low-level drug dealer.

In the same interview, Movio said he turned sideways after the cops saw Amri pull out a gun, to protect himself. "This thing saved me. because the bullet pierced my shoulder, instead of hitting my chest," he said.

Movio said he then took cover behind the police car, while Amri kept aiming at him while shouting "bastards" and "bastard cops." As he focused on Movio, Amri eventually entered into the line of fire of Scata, and that sealed his fate.

After catching Europe‘s most dangerous fugitive, the two Italian policemen were hailed as heroes. But after fascist and anti-migrant messages were found on their social media profiles, Germany cancelled plans to grant them an award.

The fascist salute on Instagram was a "prank gesture," Scata said. "If only I could go back, I wish [the picture of it] had never been taken [...] I have nothing to do with fascism," he insisted.

For his part, Movio said with "hindsight," he would not post again the stuff seen on his Facebook profile, which included a Hitler picture. "Really, the last thing I can say about me is that I am a racist," he said.

Since last year‘s events, the two officers no longer work together.

They have been promoted, given awards by the Italian presidecy and moved to police posts nearer to their homes. Scata is from Sicily, while Movio hails from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, near the border with Slovenia.

 

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