Italian Judge Grants Diplomatic Immunity to UN Staffers in Congo Ambassador Deaths

Afaf Fahchouch
Afaf Fahchouch
2 Min Read
Italian Judge Grants Diplomatic Immunity to UN Staffers in Congo Ambassador Deaths

An Italian judge has ruled that two employees of a United Nations agency cannot stand trial for their alleged involvement in the deaths of the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), his bodyguard, and a driver in 2021. The judge cited diplomatic immunity as the basis for this decision.

Luca Attanasio, along with his bodyguard Vittorio Iacovacci and driver Mustapha Milambo, tragically lost their lives during a failed kidnapping attempt while en route to a World Food Programme (WFP) project in Eastern Congo.

Italian prosecutors had sought a trial for Rocco Leone and Mansour Luguru Rwagaza, who were serving as the deputy chief of the WFP in Congo and a security officer, respectively, at the time of the attack. The prosecutors alleged negligence in organizing the ill-fated trip.

However, Judge Marisa Mosetti’s ruling on Tuesday asserted that, as employees of the United Nations, Leone and Rwagaza are entitled to diplomatic immunity, shielding them from legal prosecution in this case.

Despite this decision, prosecutors have announced their intention to appeal the ruling, signaling the continuation of legal proceedings surrounding this tragic incident.

It’s worth noting that a military court in the DRC had previously sentenced six individuals to life imprisonment for their roles in the killings, underscoring the gravity of the situation. The Eastern Congo region has long been plagued by violence, with rival militias vying for control over land and resources, resulting in a precarious security situation exacerbated by kidnappings and attacks on aid convoys.


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