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Final Verdict in Cappato’s Court case further postponed

On February 14, 2018 the court of Milan pronounced its preliminary judgement in the trial against Marco Cappato. See earlier news on this site. Cappato accompanied Fabiano Antoniani (Dj Fabo) to Dignitas Zurich to receive the support for his suicide. After a car accident DJ Fabo was blind and paraplegic and suffered from chronic pain. After his return in Italy Cappato turned himself in, stating he had violated article 580 of the Italian Penal Code: “Anyone who encourages others to commit suicide or reinforces others’ intentions of suicide (first indictment), or facilitates the execution in any way (second indictment), is punished if suicide occurs, with imprisonment from five to twelve years. If suicide does not take place, it is punishable by imprisonment of one to five years, provided that a serious or very serious personal injury results from the suicide attempt”.

During the trial, which received widespread media attention, the public prosecutor originally asked to acquit Cappato, later changed her opinion asking for the exception of non- legitimacy regarding the second indictment. Cappato was acquitted by the court re the first indictment, as Cappato did not encourage Dj Fabo to suicide himself. Regarding the second indictment, the rule which punishes the person that facilitates the execution, the court preferred to ask a judgement of the Constitutional Court (la Corte Costituzionale or Consulta) regarding this matter.

This means that the trial has been suspended, so Cappato is neither acquitted nor condemned, awaiting the said judgement. The ruling  was tensely anticipated, because it goes far beyond the criminal question; it invests ethics, reasons on the right of people to determine their own life and death. In this sense  Assoziatione Luca Coscioni speaks of “an unprecedented opportunity to overcome a crime introduced in the fascist era, a difficult but courageous choice which opens the way to the legalization of assisted suicide, deciding to bypass the politics as happened and will continue happening in other countries as well”.

Valeria Imbrogno, Fabo’s fiancée who followed every line of the trial and, before, every instant of Fabiano’s pain, says: “I’m very happy, it’s a victory not only for Fabo, but for all those who want to access assisted suicide”.