Thursday, 02 June, 2022

Mario Cerciello Rega: US students in court over police murder

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Media captionGavin Lee points out the challenging scenario of Mario Cerciello Rega in July 2019

Two US pupils accused of murdering a police officer are due to surface in courtroom on Wednesday.

Mario Cerciello Rega, 35, was stabbed to dying final July as he investigated a drug offer absent incorrect in central Rome.

Californian college students Finnegan Lee Elder and Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth confront lifestyle sentences if convicted.

The US learners say they have been acting in self-defence, believing the two officers – who they say did not discover them selves – have been criminals.

Rega’s murder obtained enormous amounts of awareness in Italy. He had only just returned to obligation from his honeymoon, and big crowds turned out for his funeral at the very same church the place was married just 43 days in advance of.

But there have also been queries about how the case has been handled.

How did Rega die?

Mr Elder and Mr Natale-Hjorth – both equally teenagers at the time – ended up allegedly making an attempt to buy cocaine very last summer time in the Trastevere space, near to Vatican City.

Investigators stated a person named Sergio Brugiatelli served the pair locate a seller. But the college students were being allegedly marketed crushed aspirin rather of drugs.

Both of those gentlemen then are stated to have taken Mr Brugiatelli’s rucksack, and demanded their income back again and a gram of cocaine in exchange.

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Police showed a picture of the alleged murder weapon

At this point, Mr Brugiatelli allegedly rang the law enforcement. Undercover officers Rega and his husband or wife, Andrea Varriale, arrived quickly just after.

During the ensuing brawl Rega was stabbed 11 occasions with an 18cm (7 inch) blade. Law enforcement reported they later uncovered the weapon hidden guiding a phony panel in the US students’ resort area.

Mr Elder has admitted stabbing the officer. But equally he and Mr Natale-Hjorth stand accused of murdering Rega, and are also dealing with extortion rates.

How has the circumstance been taken care of?

There have been a range of concerns lifted about the scenario in each the Italian and US media.

A leaked photograph displaying Mr Natale-Hjorth blindfolded and restrained at a law enforcement station appeared in the push soon immediately after their arrest. Rega’s husband or wife Mr Varriale later stated he had filmed Mr Natale-Hjorth’s interrogation on his cellphone, which is the place the photograph arrived from.

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A person of the US suspects, Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth, was tied and blindfolded right after his arrest

The law enforcement officer mentioned he and Rega discovered on their own on the evening. But the US pupils say they saw no evidence they were being police.

And Mr Varriale also confronted a “dereliction of duty” demand for not carrying his weapon on the night. Neither he nor Rega were being armed, which is against process.

Defence attorneys for the US college students have also elevated inquiries about the situation.

Talks concerning Mr Elder and his lawyer appeared in the Italian media which prompt he experienced confessed. But the defence stated the transcripts had been poorly translated and appeared to omit components of their conversation.

Some in the US have even in comparison the circumstance to that of Amanda Knox.

The US college student served four years in prison for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Italy’s leading appeals court docket overturned her conviction in 2015.

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Media captionAmanda Knox: “I’m concerned of staying framed”

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