Professional cyclist Antonio Tiberi was fined €4,000 for shooting a San Marino’s minister’s cat, according to the Gazetto dello Sport. In June 2022, Tiberi, 21, said he was testing his air rifle and aimed at the cat and fired. The pet belonged to his neighbor, San Marino’s tourism and posts minister Federico Pedini Amati.
“The cat didn’t bother anyone,” Amati said to Corriere della Sera. “It had been with us for a long time. My three-year-old daughter Lucia loved it. You cannot kill a pet and get away with a €4,000 fine.”
The cyclist appeared in court on Monday to explain his actions. Tiberi said that initially he was testing his aim at a road sign. Then he fired it at the cat that was walking by. Amati witnessed the incident and called the police.
The cyclist said he never meant to kill the cat. “My intent was simply to measure the shooting capacity of the weapon, so much so that I aimed at a sign. I also admit that I just as stupidly and unconsciously, tried to shoot a cat and to my surprise I actually shot it. I never had an intention of killing the cat,” he said. “In fact, I was convinced the weapon wasn’t lethal.”
Tiberi, a former junior world time trial champion turned pro and moved to San Marino in 2022, but Amati doesn’t think he should be allowed to continue to live there.
“I appreciate that the boy admitted the fact,” Amati said. “Having said that, we don’t need to give these people residence.”
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