8. The Skillful Operation
July 17, 2000 was a very nice day. The sky was cloudless, it was sunny and warm but not too hot. Our family was having lunch at the terrace of our house in Lugano when our home phone rang.
- Dad, it's for you - my daughter said
- Kheylik speaking.
- Good afternoon! Do you remember me?
We met at your interview at Lugano police office in February.
- Erm... Are you that inspector specializing in informatics?
- Oh yes, I am.
- Well... I thought you I would never call me.
- I was too busy. You promised to visit our office to finish all formalities, didn't you?
- Yes, sure.
- Can we meet tomorrow?
- No problem. Where?
- It's up to you. Either in Chiasso or in Como. I can pick you up and drive you to our office.
- Actually I can arrive in Milan.
- There's no need to. I'm going to be in Como tomorrow anyway. So, we can drive to Milan together.
- Ok. Where and when?
- At Piazza Cavour. Is it ok for you?
- Sure. At what time?
- Just as you like. What about noon?
- At noon? A bit strange, but ok, whenever you like.
- So what? Dealt?
- Yes, sure.
When I came back to the terrace, my family wondered:
- Who was that?
- The inspector-computer expert from police of Milan.
- So what?
- He's proposed to meet tomorrow in the center of Como.
- At what time?
- At noon.
- Noon? Just before lunch? Are you going to have lunch together?
- No, he's going to drive me to Milan.
- Sounds rather strange.
- What's so strange about it?
- People usually have lunch at this time rather than do any business.
- Well, I don't actually care when to meet.
At least I will come back home early. After lunch I was playing tennis with my son. The day was gorgeous and I was in extremely good spirits. After the game we discussed the way we were going to develop our web-hosting business. The next day I went to Como. I left home at 10 a.m., took a train and was at the central square of Como at about 11:30. There were a lot of people over there – tourists, ladies with their children, old ladies. The weather was excellent. I entered one of the restaurants, took a seat, and ordered piadina con proscutto and a beer. I was sitting there and enjoying the meal, the beer, the sun, and the beautiful weather. Suddenly I felt a pretty young lady was looking at me. The lady was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. She was standing leaned against the tree and talking on her cell phone. I gave her a glance, and she turned away. It was already afternoon. I started looking around me. There were still many people at the square, but the inspector was not there yet.
I paid the bill and stood up. I walked to the curb to take a look around in hopes to see the inspector. All of sudden I saw a man in casual trousers and a jacket (he had his jacket on, in spite of a hot summer day):
- Excuse me, can you show me your ID?
- What for?
- Just ID verification.
- Who are you?
- I'm here waiting for one of your colleague.
- He's not coming. Show me your ID, please.
The next thing I noticed was the nice-looking girl (the one who had talked on the phone a while ago) standing to the left of me. She was from the police attack team. There were a few others from the same team beside her, a few people to the right of me, and some more behind me. Then I noticed a few cars appeared at the square all of a sudden (several cars within the walk area!). Two or three of them were squad cars. Now I cannot say for sure, but I seemed to notice people on the roofs of houses around the square. And they seemed to be armed with rifles.
Actually I has retraced the whole picture in my head later. To cut it short, I was arrested by a few dozens of people. It was freaky. But what happened next was still more mind-blowing. As I has been told later, the head news of that evening broadcast by every TV channel was: "As a result of a skillful operation, Italian police has arrested a Russian mafia boss who came to the central square of Como to meet other criminals." The next day it was on the front pages of the leading newspapers. Later on, the news was copied by many Swiss and Russian papers.
The rest of the story is easier to interpret in questions and answers. Here they are.
Question: what happened next?
Question: What happened next?
Answer: then followed quite a few adventures related to the incident. I have been living an exciting and eventful life. Someday I will take my time to write some stories about those events. I hope to succeed in telling the stories interesting. Besides, I had a few boring years of lawsuits. All of them have turned disgraceful for the prosecutors, police officers, hatchet men and many others who felt they could make money and/or career on that case.
Question: what was the upshot of the affair?
Answer: ss I have written above, it turned shameful for the police, prosecutors, newspapermen, and other ignorant and unscrupulous people. They have failed in all the suits.
There is a special judicial certificate issued by the Italian Ministry of Justice. It is called Certificato Penale del Casellario Giudiziale and can be issued to any applicant upon request. The document lists all the crimes ever committed by the applicant in Italy. All of them. No exceptions. Minor crimes are included as well. Even pickpocketing.
On March 2, 2016, I obtained the certificate in the Tribunal of Milan, specifically for this website. Those interested may click the linkto see it. The certificate states that I have never had any criminal records, I am as clean as a whistle.
Nobody has apologized to me – neither the good-looking boss of the postal police, nor the inspector specializing in informatics, nor prosecutor dott Pietro Forno who was running all those "skillful police operations". Based on his interviews to TV and newspapers as well as his cheeky behavior at my case hearings, the latter was eager to make his way up through this story. He misinformed journalists, including Dacia Maraini. Instead of the actual facts, dott Forno was providing newsmen with his own fantasies. None of the newspapers, pressmen or editors has ever apologized. Nobody did. No paper has ever published any retractions.
I wonder why.
Just because I haven't taken any legal steps against them?
Is it really necessary? Isn't there any business honor?
By the way, why didn't I bring an action against them? Why didn't I bring a case against the state of Italy or against the Italian postal police?
I didn't because, as the lawyers explained to me, it would take many years, much money and energy. Besides, according to the lawyers, there has hardly ever been any case of court victory against Italian state.
Ladies and gentlemen! Dear Postal Police, Public Prosecutor of Milan, newspaper, magazine and TV editors! I'm addressing to all those who have once destroyed my name, to those who have made my family's life a misery. After I have won all the cases (or, to be more precise, there was nothing for me to win, it is those who brought their fantasies instead of facts to the court who have lost), your professional ethics oblige you to at least publish your retractions. Try and be virtuous.
December 27, 2015