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Briton beaten by Genoa police wins €350,000 compensation

Mark Covell successful following 11-year legal battle waged after 2001 Genoa assault

Tom Kington and John Hooper in Rome

A British journalist who has fought for justice for 11 years since being brutally beaten by Italian police is to be awarded €350,000 (£280,000) compensation by the Italian government.

Mark Covell was left with eight broken ribs, smashed teeth and a shredded lung after he was assaulted outside a school during the Genoa G8 meeting in 2001.

As he slipped into a coma, police raided the school, beating scores of other activists sleeping there.

Italy’s highest court of appeal suspended senior officers from duty in July for their role in the raid.

Now, after launching a civil case for compensation, Covell will accept the sum offered out of court by the interior ministry.

Pressekonferenz Polizei

Still suffering from his injuries, Covell has pursued the case for a decade, travelling to Italy frequently.

“Fighting this case has drained my resources and I was facing eviction from my council flat this year,” he said. “Now I hope to buy it.”

He has been offered the compensation on condition he drops proceedings at the European court of human rights, although he can continue criminal proceedings against his aggressors.

Massimo Pastore, a laywer representing Covell, said he hoped that other victims who were in the school, and who had so far received minor sums in provisional compensation, would now sue for more.

Covell added: "If they have been able to deal with my case, which is the most difficult, there is no reason why they cannot settle all the others.

“If the ministry does not settle out of court, then it would mean a very expensive three year court process.

“Does the Italian government want to put the other plaintiffs through all that pain?”

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/21/briton-beaten-in-italy-wins-compensation