June 18, 2013 / 7:38 PM / 4 years ago

Italy court sentences man for school bomb murder

ROME (Reuters) - An Italian court sentenced a man to life imprisonment on Tuesday for the murder of 16-year-old Melissa Bassi, who died when a homemade bomb exploded outside her school in the southern city of Brindisi in May last year.

A portrait of 16-year-old Melissa Bassi, who was killed by a bomb that exploded in front of her school before classes on Saturday, hangs beside an Italy flag ahead of her funeral service in Mesagne, near Brindisi May 21, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

Giovanni Vantaggiato, 69, confessed to building and placing the bomb in a rubbish container near to both the school and a court building, which also injured nine other people. He said he wanted vengeance for a court ruling which he felt had not given him justice.

Vantaggiato was not in court when the ruling was made but relatives and friends of Bassi were present. “It’s the minimum for what he did,” the schoolgirl’s mother said after the ruling.

Investigators initially suspected a possible organized crime connection because the school was named after Francesca Morvillo, wife of anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, who was killed with her husband by a bomb planted by mafia assassins.

Reporting By James Mackenzie; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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