The German truck driver suspected of killing Davide Rebellin in a hit-and-run incident last year has asked for a plea deal.
The lawyer of Wolfgang Rieke, who is currently detained in prison in Vicenza, Italy following extradition from his native Germany, has requested a sentence of three years for his client, down from a sentence of six-and-a-half years.
The reduction would be based on his plea and on compensation paid to Rebellin’s family, a condition required by the deputy public prosecutor Hans Roderich Blattner.
Rebellin’s family is fully opposed to such a plea bargain for Rieke, namely in light of his previous charges – a non-fatal hit and run in 2001, where his sentence was overturned due to the state of limitations, and a 2014 charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.
The case’s presiding judge Roberto Venditti has revoked the scheduled hearing on November 24 and has now ordered another for December 7, where he is set to assess the admissibility of Rieke’s petition and the proposed sentence.
63-year-old Rieke will stand charged with crimes of vehicular homicide and failure to provide assistance after he ran over Rebellin with his truck last November.
Rebellin, who had recently retired from racing at the age of 51, was killed instantly in the collision in Montebello Vicentino in Veneto.
Eyewitnesses at the scene reported seeing Rieke leave his truck and approach Rebellin’s body before driving off. He returned to Germany but was identified and traced a month later following a cooperative investigation between Italian, German, Austrian, and Slovenian police.
Rieke was arrested in Münster in June under a European arrest warrant, with his extradition to Italy approved by a German court in July.