An Italian extremist identified as 28-year-old Luca Traini, has been handed a 12-year jail sentence for shooting a Nigerian immigrant and others.
The Italian extremist who was arrested by police in the main square of the central city of Macerata after the rampage, injured six immigrants and terrorised the city last February. The sentencing of Traini who targeted black migrants as he drove around Macerata, hitting nationals from Ghana, Mali and Nigeria, included an aggravating circumstance of racial hatred.
Traini who abandoned his car and made a fascist salute, an Italian flag draped over his shoulders, as police arrested him, however apologised in court for shooting the Nigerian immigrant and others.
“I am sorry for the injuries I caused,” he said. “While in prison, I have understood that the colour of ones’ skin has nothing to do with anything.”
He shot the immigrants after a young Italian woman was murdered by suspected Nigerian drug dealers. A Nigerian, Innocent Oseghale, was charged with her rape, murder and dismemberment, as well as with drug dealing. Oseghale says Mastropietro died of an overdose and denies killing her.
“I wanted justice for Pamela,” Traini told the court.
It also came months before national elections that were marked by furious debate over the influx of some 600,000 mainly African migrants into Italy since 2014.
The anti-immigration League emerged as the second-largest party in parliament at the vote and went on to forge a coalition government with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement. Northern League leader Matteo Salvini is the interior minister and has followed through on a campaign pledge to toughen migration laws.