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CRIME

Three arrested over Italian doctor’s murder

Three people have been arrested in connection with the murder of an Italian doctor in Kenya.

Three arrested over Italian doctor’s murder
The school run by the For Life charity in Mijomboni, Kenya. Photo: For Life

Rita Fossaceca, 51, died and three other Italians were injured in an armed robbery on Saturday in the village of Mijomboni, which is situated less than 30 kilometres (20 miles) inland from the resorts of Malindi and Watamu.

The radiologist from Novara, in northern Italy, was in Kenya volunteering for the For Life charity organization, which is in the process of establishing an orphanage and a clinic in Mijomboni and also works to promote alternatives to coming-of-age ceremonies involving female genital mutilation.

Police spokesman Charles Owino said three people had been arrested over the murder, Ansa reported on Monday.

The injured Italians were reported to have been Fossaceca's parents and another relative. The doctor was reportedly shot dead after trying to defend her mother from a machete attack.

Fossaceca had been in Kenya for only three weeks on her latest trip. In her final post on the NGO's site, she described buying a cow for the orphanage.

“She is pregnant and in three months we will have a calf and finally we will have milk for the village,” she wrote.

The murder is another blow to Kenya's tourist industry which has been hit hard in recent years by the fallout from deadly attacks mounted by Islamists based in neighbouring Somalia.

Kenyan officials had been hoping for a boost to visitor numbers in the aftermath of last week's visit by Pope Francis, which passed without incident. 

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MAFIA

Italian mafia boss Messina Denaro ‘seriously ill’ following arrest

Doctors at the clinic where Italy's most-wanted fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro was captured said on Wednesday his health had recently deteriorated.

Italian mafia boss Messina Denaro 'seriously ill' following arrest

Messina Denaro, 60, a convicted killer known for a long series of brutal crimes, was caught during a visit to the clinic on Monday after 30 years on the run, after being forced to seek treatment for cancer.

“He is seriously ill. The disease has accelerated in recent months,” Vittorio Gebbia, head of the oncology department at the Maddalena clinic in Palermo, told newspaper La Repubblica.

READ ALSO: How Italy caught ‘most wanted’ mafia boss after 30 years

He underwent surgery for colon cancer in 2020 and 2022 under a false name, according to leaked medical records published in Italian media.

He was detained on Monday after detectives discovered through wiretapped conversations with family members that he was ill, and searched Italy for possible suspects of the right gender and age with cancer.

The law enforcement officers checked with Gebbia whether Messina Denaro needed urgent treatment.

“The police asked me if it mattered if the chemotherapy cycle he was set to receive was delayed by a few days, and I signed off on it because such a small delay will have no effect,” Gebbia said.

PROFILE: Ruthless Sicilian mafia boss Messina Denaro’s reign of terror

Messina Denaro was moved shortly after his arrest in Palermo to a high security prison in L’Aquila in the Abruzzo region, where he was being held in solitary confinement.

He was expected to be taken for chemotherapy treatment at the San Salvatore hospital in L’Aquila, which has a special unit reserved for this type of prisoner, according to reports in Corriere della Sera.

Messina Denaro was caught close to home after three decades on the run from police.

This is not unusual among Italy’s mafia fugitives, experts say, as on home turf they enjoy better protection and can continue to reign from the shadows.

“Going to state prison means failure for a mafioso. The mafioso wants to die in his own bed, not behind bars,” Italian journalist Attilio Bolzoni, a specialist on Italy’s criminal underworld, told AFP.

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