Hashi Omar Hassan was sentenced to 26 years in prison for killing Ilaria Alpi, an Italian journalist, in Mogadishu in 1994. His lawyer claims Hassan was convicted to stop further investigations into the motives behind Alpi’s killing. Ilaria Alpi was reporting on arms trafficking and the illegal disposal of toxic waste off the coast of Somalia; trafficking featuring Somali and Italian businessmen, offshore companies and secret service agents – trades that continue to this very day, and which are of serious concern.
Hassan was arrested after having been invited to Italy by the Italian parliament to testify on the abuses inflicted on him by Italian peacekeepers in Somalia. Not even in Mogadishu at the time of the assassination, Douglas Duale, Hassan’s lawyer, claims he is a scapegoat – part of a scheme to cover up unmentionable truths that Alpi’s investigative work in Somalia had unveiled. He also holds papers proving that Hassan was tricked into travelling to Italy to testify against the Italian military, all the time paving the way for his own arrest.
There is hope for the re-opening of Alpi’s case after a witness heard by the latest Italian parliamentary commission of inquiry into the case claimed Hassan was innocent. Giorgio and Luciana Alpi have been fighting for years to uncover the truth about their daughter’s death. They want to know who the people behind the murder are, and they want the investigations into the case to continue.