South Tyrolean entrepreneurs suspected: the process of cat Peppa

Dhe bloody deed was five years ago. The end of the court case is still a long time coming. Judge Federico Secchi in Bolzano recently stipulated additional time at the most recent hearing. He has set the date for the prosecution’s and defense’s pleadings for February 2, 2023. It remains to be seen whether the verdict will also be handed down on that day.

Matthias Rub

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta based in Rome.

The scene of the crime was the town of Falzes in the Puster Valley. There was a dead on November 19, 2017 Cat Found right next to Ingemar Gatterer’s car. The 47-year-old entrepreneur is a rich man, which he likes to show. On social media he posts photos with Ferrari and Lamborghini, with a champagne flute and accompanied by a woman, from St. Moritz and St. Tropez.

That Sunday in November five years ago, Gatterer went hunting with his son. Gatterer is a member of the South Tyrolean Rifle Association (SSB) and also of the South Tyrolean People’s Party (SVP). It has been the government in the autonomous province of northern Italy without interruption since 1948. who in South-Tirol at the SBB and especially since at the SVP is part of it. To the circle of those responsible. Respectively to the circle of the power elite – depending on your point of view.

The master butcher had the cat autopsied

The animal that was killed under unclear circumstances was the cat Peppa of the Palatinate master butcher Hartmann Weger. Because he suspected that Gatterer had also shot his Peppa while hunting, he filed a complaint and had his cat autopsied by the veterinary service. After a thorough examination of the carcass, he came to the following conclusion: black cat, long hair, female, about two years old. Frozen, poor state of preservation. Multiple skin and hypodermic injuries, torn muscles and blood clots. A black-rimmed bullet hole in the skin, one to two millimeters wide, no exit. X-rays were used to identify some shot pellets in the cat’s body and three of them were confiscated. Cause of death: external influence, buckshot.

According to Article 544b of the Italian Penal Code, anyone who kills an animal “out of cruelty or without necessity” is punished with four months to two years in prison. The entrepreneur Gatterer has protested his innocence from the start, sees himself as the victim of an intrigue and, for his part, had his lawyer forbid the master butcher Weger in writing from spreading “untrue news” or undertaking other “damaging actions” which “damage the honor and Dignity of Dr. injure gatekeepers”.

At the request of Gatterer’s lawyers, a ballistics expert was heard as a witness before the court in Bolzano. Initially, the ballistician said he had dealt with autopsy reports on the bodies of deceased people in his career, which were less comprehensive than the autopsy report on the cadaver of the cat Peppa. He was convinced that the six pellets found in the animal’s body could not have been fatal, the expert said. There are 110 to 500 shot pellets in the cartridge of a hunting rifle. Had an aimed shot been fired at Peppa, it would have “ripped the cat apart,” the ballistician said.

Peppa could have been hit by scattered shot

According to his conviction, Peppa was hit by scattered shot, the cat may have “bled to death for several days” and was not killed by a targeted shot on November 17, 2017. The defendant’s son, who had gone hunting with his father on the day of the crime, expressed similar exculpation on the witness stand. The father shot at birds, he didn’t see a cat anywhere.

Should Judge Secchi actually rule in the criminal case on February 3, the Peppa case will not be over yet. On February 16, a further hearing against Ingemar Gatterer is scheduled before a magistrate’s court because of the allegation of threats. Hartmann Weger, who also appears as a joint plaintiff in the Peppa criminal case, had again filed a complaint. Gatterer himself does not deny that he personally spoke to Weger about the Peppa case: he had let the butcher know that if he incited the people in the village against him “because of such a trifle” and tried to harm his family, then the ” cost a lot of money”.

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