Italian journalist (Rome 1961 – Mogadishu 1994). After studying Arabic at university and also thanks to her knowledge of other languages, she began her career as a correspondent from Cairo for the newspapers Paese Sera and L’Unità. She was subsequently hired by RAI, having won a scholarship, and started following the wars in Lebanon, Kuwait and Somalia for the RAI 3 news programme. In Somalia the journalist was killed in Mogadishu together with the operator M. Hrovatin, victims of an ambush specifically aimed at them. Alpi was investigating international arms trafficking and illegal toxic waste. The information collected, the outcome of the investigations and the real cause of the death of the journalist are not yet known and are covered by Official Secrets, although in 2014, twenty years after the murder, the procedure has begun for the release of the documents relating to the investigation. In memory of the affair and in memory of the journalist as a good example of investigative journalism, a Prize bearing his name has been established since 1995, awarded annually to the best investigative television dedicated to the theme of peace and solidarity.
(Source: Treccani Encyclopaedia)
(Update by Raffaella Della Morte and Marta Ramadori, 3 May 2020)
- 1994 – The bodies of Ilaria and Miran were returned to Italy on March 22nd 1994. A state funeral was held for Ilaria in Rome but at the time of the burial an investigation had not yet been opened.. In Trieste, an autopsy was carried out on Miran’s body; in Rome, when the prosecutor’s office started the investigation, only an external medical examination was carried out on Ilaria’s body.
- 1996 – The first full autopsy took in May 1996, when the Alpi’s body was exhumed. Meanwhile, on the site ilariaalpi.it, it states that “some of the video cassettes shot by Miran Hrovatin and some of Ilaria Alpi’s notebooks have disappeared. Only two notepads arrive in Rome and the luggage arrives with its seals broken. The ambassador removed the protocol sheet with its telephone numbers that was in Ilaria’s shirt pocket”. Ilaria’s father, Giorgio, began to talk about “execution” and remembered that shortly before his death, his daughter interviewed the Sultan of Bosaso, Abdullahi Mussa Bogor, and took notes in a notebook that has disappeared. In 1996 the sultan was included in the register of suspects but was later archived.
- 1998 – Two years later the Somali citizen Omar Hashi Hassan, identified as a member of the commando group, was arrested for complicity in premeditated double murder.
- 1999 – At the end of the trial, in July 1999, Hassan was acquitted by the Rome Assize Court “for not having committed the crime”. The prosecutor had asked for a life sentence.
- 2000 – The following year the Court of Assizes of Appeal overturned the first degree sentence and sentenced to life imprisonment Hassan who was immediately handcuffed in the courtroom. Ilaria’s parents criticize the sentence saying that they want the real culprits and the instigators to be brought to justice.
- 2001 – In 2001 the first criminal section of the Supreme Court confirmed the sentence for premeditated murder but annulled the sentence “limited to the aggravating circumstance of premeditation and the denial of general extenuating circumstances”.
- 2002 – In 2002 the second appeal process begins, at the end of which Hassan was sentenced to 26 years in prison. For him complicity with unknown persons is hypothesized, so much so as to open a separate investigation.
- 2003 – The Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry is established, chaired by the lawyer Carlo Taormina.
- 2006 – In February 2006 the Commission finished its work without reaching unanimous conclusions. Three reports were filed, one by the majority and two minority reports. Officially the Commission supports the hypothesis of an attempted robbery or kidnapping “which ended accidentally with the death of the victims”. The alternative version, on the other hand, suggests that Ilaria Alpi had discovered illegal arms and toxic waste trafficking in which the army and other Italian institutions were also involved. In the summer of the same year, Ilaria’s parents, Giorgio and Luciana, were received by Romano Prodi, Prime Minister, and by Fausto Bertinotti, Speaker of the Chamber.
- 2007 – The Rome Prosecutor’s Office requests the dismissal of the separate investigation opened in 2002, after the conviction of Hassan.
- 2010 – The request to set it aside was rejected. The investigating judge believed that the murder of Alpi and Hrovatin “was a commissioned murder, with the intent of silencing the two reporters and preventing their discoveries on the trafficking of weapons and waste from being disclosed”. Meanwhile, in the same year, the trial against Ali Ahnmed known as Gelle, the main accuser of Hassan, began. The accusation is slander in an attempt to divert the investigation.
- 2014 – Meanwhile, the documents of the Commissions of Inquiry into waste and the Alpi case are declassified. The request had been made the previous year. The President of the Chamber is Laura Boldrini.
- 2015 – Gelle, in the meantime fled abroad, makes a retraction and said he lied about Hassan.
- 2016 – The Perugia Court of Appeal reopens the trial for Hassan. The attorney general and the civil parties, the state broadcaster RAI and Ilaria Alpi’s mother who embraces Hassan before the hearing, are all in agreement. In October of the same year, Hassan was acquitted after serving 17 years.
- 2017 – In July 2017, the Rome Public Prosecutor’s Office asked for the investigation to be closed, arguing that it was impossible to trace the motive and perpetrators of the murders and that there was no evidence of alleged misdirection. Immediately after this request of the Prosecutor’s Office, Ilaria’s mother whose physical state had been stressed declared that she had “to surrender to the incapacity of justice”. In June 2018, Ilaria’s mother fell asleep forever with obtaining justice for her daughter and Miran.
- 2019 – In October 2019, the general prosecutor of Rome Andrea Fanelli rejected the request for setting it aside and arranged new investigations. The #noinonarchiviamo (no to setting it aside) movement, made up of FNSI, the RAI journalists union, Libera, Legambiente, TG3 and the Ilaria Alpi Foundation in the person of Mariangela Gritta Grainer, has appealed to the institutions to order the declassification of documents that are still secret and opposed setting aside the case.
- 2020 – In recalling the 26th anniversary of the death of Ilaria and Miran, the President of the Chamber, Roberto Fico stated that the suspicions, misdirection, errors and omissions in the investigations were still too many and that the Chamber of Deputies has had for some time the procedures for declassifying documents acquired and created by the Commission of Inquiry. In the digital archive “Ilaria Alpi and Miran Hrovatin” – published on the institution’s website – both the documents already freely available and those so far declassified can be readily consulted due to the initiative of the Presidency of the Chamber.