Child who died of starvation, ‘the mother can face the trial’

He can stand trial Alessia Pifferi, the 37-year-old on trial for aggravated voluntary homicide for having left her daughter Diana to die of starvation for almost a year and a half, abandoning her alone at home for six days in July last year. This was decided by the Court of Assizes of Milan by rejecting an application by the defense for a psychiatric report on the defendant’s “capacity to stand trial”. Prosecutors Francesco De Tommasi and Rosaria Stagnaro had also asked for its rejection, explaining that the woman has always been fully “lucid and aware”. Later in the trial, the defense will still be able to ask for an expert opinion on the ability to understand and want at the time of the facts. You haven’t done it yet in this morning’s hearing.

From the only “medical document produced by the defence”, i.e. a report by a psychiatrist from the San Vittore prison, “no element emerges – explained the President of the Court Ilio Mannucci Pacini – which could cast doubt on Pifferi’s full ability to participate to the trial as evidently happened up to today’s hearing, without such incapacity ever having been envisaged”. In the November 2022 report, “the only element is a hypothetical and possible cognitive deficit which, even if it were ascertained, could constitute an element capable of excluding the ability to stay in the process” by Pifferi. However, the judges clarified the difference with the assessments on the ability to understand and want. A request of this kind can be filed by the defense later.

The aunt, my sister never apologized “She never apologized, not even in the letters she sent to me and my mother, and I will never answer her until she at least apologizes, I’m against my sister and it’s the right side, because the one who died is mine Grandchild”. She told reporters Viviana Pifferi, sister of Alessia, the 37-year-old in prison since the end of July 2022 for letting her daughter Diana die of starvation, abandoning her at home for 6 days. The little girl’s aunt, together with her grandmother, i.e. the 37-year-old’s mother, are civil parties in the trial against the defendant. Viviana Pifferi also this morning in the classroom wore a shirt with the photo of the child. Alessia Pifferi for the second hearing was present in the courtroom, next to the lawyer and accompanied by prison police officers. “It was right not to grant the expert opinion”, said Viviana in relation to the judges’ decision not to grant it regarding the ability to stand in the trial. “For a week she abandoned her, she can’t be a ten-minute raptus,” added her sister. “I can no longer define her as my sister, if she is still my sister”, Viviana Pifferi said again.

The defense of the mother, ‘expertise on the vice of mind’ Following the “debate investigation”, i.e. the examination of witnesses in the courtroom, including two defense consultants on the psychological and psychiatric aspects, Alessia Pifferi’s defense will ask for “a psychiatric report” on the ability to understand and want at the time of the facts, i.e. when the woman left her daughter Diana less than a year and a half alone in the house for 6 days, between 14 and 20 July 2022. Child, then, died of starvation, dehydrated. This was specified, speaking with reporters at the end of today’s hearing, by the lawyer Alessia Pontenani, after the Court of Assizes of Milan today rejected another request for a psychiatric assessment by the defence, but relating to the ability to stand trial , i.e. to face the trial, and not on the possible mental defect at the time of the voluntary homicide aggravated by premeditation, contested by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Lawyer Pontenani this morning requested the expert opinion on the procedural capacity on the basis of a report by a psychiatrist from San Vittore from which “a possible cognitive deficit is evident – he said – and in the same document, an in-depth analysis is requested to evaluate the cognitive” by Pifferi. Alessia Pifferi, prosecutor Francesco De Tommasi replied, she is a “very healthy person, so healthy that she thought of writing many letters to the media from prison to talk about her story and get people talking about herself”. De Tommasi, with his colleague Rosaria Stagnaro, highlighted that none of the medical reports contained elements on the woman’s mental problems. He deposited with the judges “the audio and video of the first interrogation on the evening of July 20 at the police station, where he appears as a person who is always lucid, oriented, capable of describing in detail, without revealing particular emotions, shortly after the discovery of the body of Diana”. The well-known chat messages between the woman and a “series of men” have also been deposited, from which “it is inferred that she has never been a person with particular problems, but has lived according to a precise, clear and lucid strategy, made up of well-defined lifestyle choices to find the sources for one’s livelihood”. She left the little girl alone in the house to stay, she herself said when questioned, with her partner (not the child’s father). The Court, in rejecting the first instance of an expert opinion, pointed out that in theory, however, the “capacity to stand trial can exist even if the fact was committed by a person totally incapable of understanding”. The same judges then rejected a request to be a civil party of the National Victim Support Observatory and postponed the trial to May 16 (hearings until July), a date by which prosecutors and civil parties, on the basis of “the Cartabia reform “, they will have to investigate the “relevance” of the texts they have asked to hear. Green light immediately, however, to those of the defense, including, on the aspect of the autopsy tests, the geneticist Marzio Capra, who was part of the defense pool in the Yara case.

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