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L'Unione Sarda

The case of the boy who committed suicide: a former Scientology executive sentenced to 4 years

Nov. 9th 2004

Translated and posted by: Martini, "Allarme Scientology",

Original Article in Italian HERE

Cagliari (Sardinia), Italy

The case of the boy who committed suicide: a former Scientology executive sentenced to 4 years

He wasn't 20 yet but he's been living a nightmare for months: debts, forced to pay tens of millions [of old lira] to an executive of the Mission of Scientology. Desperate, he jumped from the window. Suicide. This was how this tragedy was filed at first. But then the case was reopened, ending in a new investigation and in the trial against an affiliate and now ex executive of Scientology: yesterday Giorgio Carta, 41, was found guilty of extortion against his cousin Roberto Deplano, the boy who committed suicide on Feb. 18th, 1997. He will serve a 4 term.

This was the decision the Court chaired by Mr. Judge Sette took yesterday, ending a vicissitude started 7 years ago. A case that caused a stir. Judges decided for a punishment havier than the one suggested by the prosecutor, who asked for a 4 yrs term.

The story dates back to 1997. On Feb. 18th Roberto Deplano, a 19 years old student, jumped from his bedroom window at the six floor of a building located in via Castiglione. A 20 meters flight ended in tragedy. Investigators closed the case as a simple suicide, and the investigation was filed. But his parents knew there was something more. Something that lately had darkened and worried their son.

Antonino, his father, went to Mario Canessa, a lawyer, and told him that Roberto had joined Scientology (a religious movement founded in USA in 1954, that was spreading in town). He was happy at first, his father said, but then Roberto began to darken and revealed to be pressed with constant requests of money by Giorgio Carta, owner of a bar in Piazza Giovanni XXIII and by then one of the executives of the office of Scientology in Cagliari. [Mr. Deplano] talked of tens of millions already paid. But it seemed that his son's generosity was never enough. This account was confirmed also by the boy's friends and by his mother: "Roberto was tired - she said - he wanted to leave that cult but was unable to do so. He was changed, he stopped his studies, he didn't play his music any longer. He told me that they brainwashed him, that they wanted more and more money. That they threatened him to disclose the intimate things he had revealed during the meetings of the group. He was terrified, he even locked me inside because he feared they would kill me. My husband and I even decided to leave Cagliari: the nex day Roberto committed suicide, he wanted to save us".

On September 1998, as a result of a charge filed by the lawyer, prosecutor Guido Pani reopened the investigation: phone tappings, searches, documents seized. Giorgio Carta was finally indicted with che charge of extortion with the aid of unknown people, "because with threats he repeatedly forced Roberto Deplano to give him a number of sums in cash for a total of about 100 millions lira [about 51.000 euros]".

Carta has always rejected all the charges. His lawyers Guido Manca Bitti and Luigi Concas said they were "surprised by the decision. We are convinced of the innocence of Giorgio Carta. The investigation was lacking and those lackings could have changed the tune". Later on the defendant reaffirmed his innocence: "Obviously I'll appeal and this decision sounds incredible. I'm waiting to read its motivation to understand how the judges could have come to such unfair conclusions".

By Andrea Manunza,
L'Unione Sarda, Nov. 9th 2004

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