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Mafia turncoats help police solve 1989 murder

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Mafia turncoats help police solve 1989 murder
Italian police say they have solved a murder case dating back to 1989. Photo: Shutterstock
14:39 CEST+02:00
He was tortured, strangled and crushed beneath a tractor but it has taken Italian police 25 years to learn who was responsible for the brutal murder of Paolo Letizia.

In an apparent conclusion to this gruesome ‘cold case’, police on Tuesday accused five men – including a cousin of one of the most feared Camorra bosses Francesco Schiavone – of Letizia’s murder in 1989.

Letizia was kidnapped from his home in Villa di Briano near Caserta outside Naples on September 19th 1989 and he is believed to have been killed as part of a brutal feud. His body has never been found.

Francesco Schiavone, cousin of the former leader of the notorious Casalesi clan with the same name. and Walter Schiavone were among the three who ordered the killing, police have alleged.

Two others - Giuseppe Russo and Salvatore Cantiello - have been accused by prosecutors of carrying out the murder. All five men are in prison for other crimes.

Police said the crime had been solved with the aid of mafia turncoats who had collaborated with police and anti-mafia investigators.

Francesco Della Corte, a friend of the victim, told prosecutors that Letizia had been tortured and then run over by a tractor as the Casalesi clan carried out a campaign of violent elimination.

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