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A Homicide Investigation And The (Still Alive) Data Retention Regulation

The young girl homicide investigation I’ve talked about in a previous post reveals other interesting information, this time about the Telcos’s role in supporting the public prosecution service through the traffic data retention.

The media are reporting (italian only, sorry) that more than 120.000 single mobile calls are under scrutiny spanning from a few months before the kill. But since the fact is more than three years’old, these data aren’t even supposed to exist since the Data Retention Directive forbade its preservation once the (maximum) two-years term expired.

So, hopefully for the justice and the family of the poor girl, at the beginning of the investigation the public prosecutor, as required by law, did issue a traffic data “freezing” order or, better, seized it as dictated by the Italian Criminal Rule of Evidence.

As in the case of the DNA-based evidence, the collection of traffic data without complying the Rule of Evidence might allow the defense lawyers to challenge the reliability of these information especially because the original traffic data have (or should have been) destroyed once collected by the public prosecution service, thus preventing the possibility of double-checking during the trial their actual evidence “weight”.