Italy: Moroccan immigrant in fast-track trial for daughter's murder

Adnkronos International

The fast-track trial of a Moroccan immigrant accused of stabbing his 18-year-old daughter to death last year in an 'honour' killing opened in the northeastern Italian town of Pordenone on Monday. El Ketaoui Dafani, a cook, allegedly became enraged after discovering his daughter Sanaa had a love affair with a 32-year-old Italian man. Sanaa Dafani was stabbed in the throat in September with a large kitchen knife while she was sitting in a car with her 31-year-old boyfriend in the small town of Montereale Valcellina, northwest of Trieste.

El Ketaoui Dafani is accused of his daughter's murder and of seriously injuring her boyfriend, Massimo De Biasio, during the attack. 

De Biasio is forming the plaintiff in the trial, together with Italy's equal opportunities ministry, the Association of Moroccan Women in Italy, the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, and the Province of Pordenone.

Dafani's trial is being conducted behind closed doors. 

The Association of Moroccan Women in Italy, Souad Sbai, who is also an MP for the ruling conservative People of Freedom Party, said she hopes Dafani will be given "the maximum sentence". 

"Sanaa was decapitated, massacred by her own father. Enough of fundamentalist extremism," Sbai told reporters as she entered the courthouse on Monday to attend the trial.

"The Italian state must intervene in this community. Cultural and religious reasons cannot be used to justify this behaviour." 

Dafani, a devout Muslim, objected to his daughter's boyfriend not being a Muslim and to their plans to live together, according to Italian media reports.

The issue of the cultural integration of Muslim immigrants in Italy has been brought into stark relief after several 'honour' killings in recent years.

In 2006 a 20-year-old Pakistani girl, Hina Saleem, died after her throat was slit by male relatives in the northern town of Brescia. Hina's father Mohammed Saleem, and two male relatives were sentenced to 30 years in jail for her murder.

Her 'crime' was to wear jeans, work in a pizzeria and go to live with her Italian boyfriend.

After the case, Italy's previous centre-left Italian government issued a 'charter of values' for immigrants. 

There have also been several cases of Muslim immigrants mistreating and threatening their daughters for being "too westernised" and trying force them into arranged marriages.

14 June 2010

Source: Adnkronos