Europe

Italy jails far-right militants for 1974 Brescia bombing

Brescia Piazza della Loggia - file pic Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Brescia's Piazza della Loggia: The 1974 bombing brought carnage to the historic square

A Milan court in northern Italy has handed down life sentences to two former far-right militants who killed eight people in a bomb attack in 1974.

The Brescia bombing, which injured 100 people, hit an anti-fascist rally in a central square, Piazza della Loggia.

Carlo Maria Maggi, 80, was a member of Italy's far-right group New Order. He was jailed along with Maurizio Tramonte, a former intelligence agent.

The Brescia bombing was one of several far-right attacks in the 1970s.

The most notorious one was the Bologna train station blast in 1980 which killed 85 people.

Maggi - who ran New Order's Venetian cell - will not go to jail because of his poor health, reports say, but Tramonte, 63, does face jail.

The Milan appeal court's judgment can still be challenged in Italy's top criminal court - the Court of Cassation - but it is likely to be upheld, Italian media report.

Italy's La Stampa newspaper calls the verdict "historic" because it is the first time that both New Order and the intelligence services have been so clearly linked to 1970s far-right violence.

Maggi ordered the bombing, while Tramonte helped to organise it and put police off their trail.

Two previous investigations had resulted in several acquittals and this was one of Italy's longest-running terrorism cases.

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