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Death sentence for killers of Italian bishop

A Kenyan Roman Catholic priest and four others were sentenced to death Thursday by a court in Nairobi for murdering an elderly Italian bishop almost a decade ago.

Death sentence for killers of Italian bishop
Luigi Locati was killed in 2005. Photo: HO/Nairobi Kenyan Catholic Sec/AFP

"Catholic priest Guyo Waqo and four others have been sentenced to death for the murder of Isiolo Bishop Luigi Locati," Kenya's Public Prosecutions office said in a statement.

Prosecutors said the five men shot and killed 77-year-old Bishop Luigi Locati in July 2005 after a row over cash donated to the Isiolo diocese in central Kenya.

The popular Locati was slain at the church compound in Isiolo, some 250 kilometres north of the capital, in what prosecutors said was a power struggle for control of the diocese and its cash ahead of the bishop's retirement.

After an eight-year trial, Father Waqo Guyo was named on Tuesday as the mastermind of the plot, having recruited Mohammed Molu Bagajo, Aden Ibrahim Mohamed, Mahati Ali Halake, and Roba Balla Bariche to carry out the killing.

Judge Fred Ochieng ruled the five were "directly involved in the planning and killing of the bishop".

However, it is unlikely the death sentence will be carried out on the men, who all denied the murder and can still appeal the ruling.

Kenya has not carried out executions since 1987, although capital punishment is not formally abolished.

Locati, from the northern Italian province of Vercelli, was ordained a priest in 1952 and came to Kenya ten years later. He set up the Isiolo diocese in 1963.

The murder outraged many Kenyans with hundreds – including then President Mwai Kibaki – attending his funeral in Isiolo.

A sixth man, Diga Wario, was acquitted of the murder.

READ MORE: Kenyan priest guilty of murdering Italian bishop

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ROME

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome’s Trevi Fountain

With the return of tourism and scorching temperatures, Rome’s fountains are once again attracting visitors hoping to cool off with a midnight swim.

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome's Trevi Fountain

In the latest incident, a 26-year-old Spanish man was fined 450 euros after taking a dip in the Trevi Fountain in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Rome’s city police apprehended and fined the man after he was spotted swimming in the 18th-century monument at around 5am, according to local media reports.

READ ALSO: How to keep cool like an Ancient Roman in Italy’s summer heat

Every summer, hapless foreign visitors face fines of hundreds of euros after falling foul of Rome’s strict ban on taking a dip in public fountains – with the city mayor warning tourists that the centuries-old Baroque monuments are “not swimming pools”.

In April, two Dutch tourists also faced fines totalling over €1,000 after their own ill-advised splash in the Trevi Fountain.

The Roman landmark is one of the city’s main magnets for badly-behaved visitors, but tourists have also been fined after cooling off in the Santa Maria fountain in Trastevere, believed to be the city’s oldest. 

Since 2018, anyone caught misbehaving at Rome’s monuments can also face a temporary ‘Daspo’ ban from the area – similar to an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) in the UK – which allows city police to restrict the movement of people they deem a threat to public order.

READ ALSO: From selfie brawls to midnight swims: Tourists behaving badly at the Trevi Fountain

But a plan to erect a one-metre-high glass and steel barrier around the Trevi fountain to protect it from unruly visitors now appears to have been abandoned after arts and heritage experts called the idea “foolish”.

Fines for swimming in the fountains have been in place since 2015, but this hasn’t stopped determined visitors from recreating scenes from La Dolce Vita and even some locals from taking a dip – – with or without their clothes.

Swimming in the wrong place is just one of the offences regularly committed by visitors, with graffiti and vandalism a common problem at many of Italy’s famous monuments.

READ ALSO: 15 strange ways to get into trouble on holiday in Italy

In Rome alone, this year tourists have made headlines for everything from breaking into the Colosseum to enjoy a drink with a view to driving a car down the Spanish Steps.

Other Italian tourism hotspots, including Florence and Venice, also have varying local rules in place aimed at curbing rowdy behaviour.

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