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CRIME

Radio boss arrested over Italian nuns’ murder

Burundi police on Tuesday arrested the head of a key radio station close to the opposition in connection with the murder of three Italian nuns after broadcasting an alleged confession of the killer.

Radio boss arrested over Italian nuns' murder
Photos (from left to right) show Olga Raschietti, Bernadette Boggia and Lucia Pulici. Photo: Missionaire di Maria/AFP

Bob Rugurika, director of the popular independent Radio Publique Africaine (RPA), was arrested for "complicity" in the murder the three elderly women, killed in twin attacks in the convent in September, his lawyer said.

RPA, which has earned a reputation for its crime reporting, broadcast the alleged confession of a man who claimed he killed one of the nuns.

Rugurika, who faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty, was charged with complicity in the murder after police demanded he deliver the man who confessed to them.

"He replied he had no authority to hold or deliver people," but had only done his work as a journalist, his lawyer Lambert Nigarura told reporters, criticising "the lack of independence" of Burundi's legal system.

The confession broadcast by RPA radio contradicts police who arrested a man they said had also confessed.

Burundi, a small nation in central Africa's Great Lakes region, emerged in 2006 from a brutal 13-year civil war and its political climate remains fractious ahead of polls in May and June.

Burundi's last elections in 2010 were boycotted by most opposition parties, and opponents are again accusing the ruling party of eliminating dissent.

President Pierre Nkurunziza, in power since 2005, is expected to run for a third term in office despite opponents' claims that a new mandate would violate Burundi's constitution.

The three Roman Catholic nuns were Olga Raschietti, 83, Lucia Pulici, 75, and Bernadetta Boggian, aged 79.

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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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