Former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato blamed France for the 1980 attack on a passenger plane that resulted in its crash. 81 people died in the disaster. According to the politician, the airliner was shot down by a French fighter during an assassination attempt on Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
An Itavia McDonnell Douglas DC-9 crashed over the Tyrrhenian Sea off Sicily on June 27, 1980. He was heading from Bologna to Palermo. 77 passengers and 4 crew members were killed. The causes of the crash remained unknown. During the investigation, versions of a structural flaw in the aircraft, a bomb explosion, or a missile hit were considered. Media reports in 1980 said that NATO aircraft were found in the crash area. Several senior Italian military officials were accused of making false statements during the investigation.
In an interview with the newspaper La Repubblica, Amato said he was sure that the plane was confused with Gaddafi’s plane and shot down by the French Air Force. Previously, the version of the involvement of the French Air Force in the plane crash was expressed by the Prime Minister of Italy in 1980, Francesco Cossiga. He said that Italian intelligence officers told him and Amato this. Italian media claimed that similar information was contained in Libyan intelligence documents discovered after the capture of Tripoli in 2020.
The Italian judge Rosario Priore, who led one of the investigations into the disaster, stated in his report on the disaster that his work was interfered with by members of the Italian special services and the army. Amato asked French President Emmanuel Macron to admit guilt in what happened and “wash away this shame from France.”
The Italian politician admitted that he has no direct evidence of his version. According to him, in 2000, when he headed the government, he asked US and French Presidents Bill Clinton and Jacques Chirac to shed light on the causes of the disaster, but received “very polite answers” without any data.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni asked Amato to provide evidence of his claims. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Le Figaro newspaper that the French authorities have always provided the Italian investigation with all the requested information on the incident and are ready to cooperate with the investigation in the future.