Ten days after Turkey was rocked by the killing of a prosecutor in the Çağlayan Courthouse, a shooting at a Milan court raises global security concerns in government buildings
Recalling the Turkish case of the killing of a prosecutor by two terrorists in the Çağlayan Courthouse, the recent Milan courtroom shooting coincidentally raises questions once again about the courthouse's access and security system. In the two separate but similar cases, the armed shooters managed to get by security, laying bare the significant security breaches in government buildings and low standards of security control in courthouses.
An armed man on trial for bankruptcy fraud gunned down a judge, lawyer and co-defendant in a third-floor room of the Milan courthouse on Thursday. The man, Claudio Giardiello, 57, was captured by police in Vimercate, a town some 25 kilometers outside Milan. "This is a moment of great pain, of sadness," Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said, adding that it was "unthinkable that someone should be able to enter a court with a weapon." During the heavy shooting, Judge Fernando Ciampi and Giardiello's former lawyer, 37-year old Lorenzo Alberto Claris Appiani were shot dead. Giardiello likely used a false pass to enter the court through a side door reserved for judges and lawyers, who are not obliged to have their belongings scanned by a metal detector, Milan Public Prosecutor Edmondo Bruto Liberati said.
In Italy, much of the surveillance of courthouses has been outsourced to private contractors, just as private security companies guard courthouses in Turkey. The attack shocked the country, with politicians and the victims' families demanding to know how it was possible for an armed man to get through court security, and judges linking the killing spree to a poisonous climate against the justice system.
The killing of the Turkish prosecutor, Mehmet Selim Kiraz, has raised serious concerns of security in courthouses in Turkey as the two terrorists dressed as lawyers easily got through security and entered the building with firearms. The Çağlayan Courthouse is guarded by private security guards and was targeted by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said that private security guards should be replaced with police. "Turkey has its own police department. It should set up protection teams for courts. Private security units should be abolished," Erdogan said. "Not only courthouses, but stadiums and hospitals should be left to the police."
Kiraz was shot dead by two terrorists from the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) in a hostage situation at Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse on March 31. The DHKP-C had adopted the prosecutor as a symbol of its efforts to gain support for a violent campaign against Turkish security forces. After hours of negotiations, the police's Special Forces unit stormed the room when gunshots were heard from inside. Two terrorists were killed, and Kiraz, already heavily injured when gunmen shot him multiple times before the raid, succumbed to his wounds in hospital.
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