Indictments in PLO Arms Supply to Red Brigades
VENICE, Italy (AP) _ A senior PLO official and four former Italian military officers were indicted Wednesday in connection with the alleged supply of PLO arms to the Red Brigades in 1979, the ANSA news agency reported.
PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, who had been under investigation in the affair, was absolved of any involvement by Venice magistrate Carlo Mastelloni, the report said.
ANSA said among those indicted was Salah Khalaf, a top member of Fatah, the mainstream Arafat-led faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The agency said Mastelloni indicted four former officials of SISMI, the secret service wing of the Italian military. They were identified as Gen. Gino Lugaresi, Gen. Pasquale Notarnicola, Col. Armando Sportelli and Marshal Giuseppe Agricola.
Also indicted were six Italians who worked or studied at a language school in Paris and allegedly served as contacts between Red Brigades terrorists and Palestinians in the French capital, ANSA said.
The agency did not specify the charges in the indictment or give further details. Mastelloni’s office was closed Wednesday night.
Mastelloni has been investigating alleged links between the Red Brigades and the PLO for years. The investigation grew out of statements by Red Brigades terrorists-turned-informers who said the PLO supplied a shipment of arms, including 150 Sterling machine guns, delivered by yacht from Lebanon to Venice in September 1979.
The PLO has consistently denied any ties with the Red Brigades, who have been effectively crushed in recent years by Italian authorities.