Suspected members of Italy's Red Brigades vowed at the reopening of their trial in Turin yesterday that the terrorist group would submit kidnaped Christian Democratic leader Aldo Moro to a "people's trial."
There has been no word of More's fate since Saturday when the Red Brigades released a two-page statement announcing plans for a "people's trial" and labeling the resumption of the Turin trial "an act of war."
So far the kidnapers have made no demands, but many here think they will eventually demand the release of the Turbin defendants in return for Moro's freedom.
In a noisy session of the trial in Turin, all but three of the 15 defendants were removed from the courtroom after the denial of their request to read a political communique about Thursday's kidnaping of Moro. His five police bodyguards were killed by the kidnapers.
"Moro will be tried and sentenced by the people," shouted Red Brigade founder Renato Curcio, 36, as he was led from the courtroom.
It was the second attempt to try the members of the Red Brigades, a group which has taken responsibility for many shootings and kidnapings. In both trials the Red Brigades threatened jurors and witnesses, and the current trial was recessed after a potential witness was murdered earlier this month.
As police continued their search of Rome's residential Monte Mario area where the kidnaping took place, Premier Giulio Andreotti and his one-week old Cabinet put the finishing touches on a package of emergency security measures expected to be passed by degree today.
The new measures, most of which have been under discussion since July, are expected to speed up the judicial proceedings required for searches and wiretaps, restore to police their power to begin questioning witnesses without the presence of a magistrate, give police the power to detain suspects in security and kidnaping crimes without a magistrate's order, and provide for the hiring of as many as 12,000 new policemen.
The search in Rome by thousands of police and soldiers so far has turned up to no concrete sign of where Moro is being held.
Police found a third car used by the kidnapers in the same street where the other two had been found. The Interior Ministry said two experts from West Germany's criminal police unit have arrived in Rome.
Until now police have been acting on the assumpting that Moro's captors were hiding Him somewhere in Rome. Still, because of delays in setting up roadblocks - which motorists report are operating unevenly - the search has now been extended to parts of Tuscany, where several terrorist hideouts have been discovered in the past.
The roadblocks, and the general climate of concern about the fate of such an influential politician, kept many Romans from taking their traditional Sunday outings.
Restaurant owners outside the city and in Rome reported that business was off, and at the Rome-Lazio soccer game there were about 20,000 fewer spectators than usual.
It would be misleading to say that the Moro kidnaping is on the minds of all Italians.
After years of continuing kidnapings and of rising political violence, some Italians have become cynical.
"It's about time the politicians started payinnnnn personally for the problems they have failed to solve," a dermatologist said the other day.
But the massive turnout at demonstrations to protest the kidnaping has shown that many appear to be deeply shocked by the Kidnaping of a man so influential that he was expected to become the next president when new elections are held at the end of the year.
"If it is so easy to get Moro, then none of us is safe," said a young woman who was one of thousands who attended Saturday's funeral of the five dead policemen.
Despite the fact that the Red Brigades' previous kidnap victims were eventually released, many Italians seem to believe that the terrorists will seek to exchange Moro for their jailed comrads in Turin and, when that fails, will kill him.
"They have already shown themselves to be cold-blooded killers on several ocasion," an elderly newsdealer said.