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CRIME

Man held over death of US student to remain in jail

A homeless man, suspected of pushing 19-year-old American student Beau Solomon to his death in Rome’s Tiber river, will remain in custody until trial, a preliminary investigative judge ruled on Thursday.

Man held over death of US student to remain in jail
The body of Beau Solomon was found in Rome's river Tiber on Monday. Photo: Facebook

Massimo Galioto, 40, was detained on Tuesday after the student’s body was found on Monday morning.

Galioto, who refused to respond to the judge's questions, has been charged with murder aggravated by futile motives.

His lawyer, Michele Vincelli, said Galioto stayed silent because of incomplete evidence, Ansa reported.

Solomon had arrived in the capital on Thursday to undertake a five-week course at John Cabot University.

The student from the University of Wisconsin-Madison was reported missing the next morning by his flatmate, who “was worried when he did not see Beau at orientation that morning”, John Cabot University said in a statement on its website on Sunday.

The friend had lost contact with Solomon at around 1am while together at a bar in Rome’s popular Trastevere area.

Solomon’s body, which had suffered a wound to the head, was identified by his family, who flew to Rome on Sunday.

Police suspect Solomon may have hit his head on a rock when he fell in the river. An autopsy on Wednesday revealed he died by drowning.

It is not clear what he was doing on the embankment.

Galioto's companion, with whom he shares a tent on the embankment, told Italy's Rai Uno he had not meant to hurt the student.

An allegedly drunk Solomon had “bumped into Massimo and they began to argue. They were pushing each other. Massimo pushed him, the boy pushed back, and then he fell in the water,” she said.

Two witnesses told police they saw a man being thrown into the river in the early hours of Friday morning.

Solomon's bank card had been used while he was missing by someone who withdrew over €1,500 ($1,675) in Milan, but Galioto's companion said the homeless man had nothing to do with the theft, accusing foreign thieves instead.

Galioto returned to his tent and went to sleep after the incident, instead of alerting emergency services.

CRIME

Italian killer with mafia links arrested in France after 16 years on the run

A convicted murderer linked to one of Italy's most powerful mafia organisations was arrested on Thursday in central France, Interpol said.

Italian killer with mafia links arrested in France after 16 years on the run

Edgardo Greco, 63, is suspected of belonging to the notorious ‘Ndrangheta, a powerful mafia organisation in Calabria, southern Italy.

He is wanted in Italy to serve a life sentence for the murders of Stefano and Giuseppe Bartolomeo, and accused of the attempted murder of Emiliano Mosciaro “as part of a mafia war between the Pino Sena and Perna Pranno gangs that marked the early 1990s”, Interpol said.

The Bartolomeo brothers were beaten to death with iron bars in a fish warehouse, Italian police said.

Greco’s arrest in central France came with help for Italy and France from the “Cooperation against ‘Ndrangheta Project” (I-CAN) run by Interpol, which facilitates police cooperation between its 195 member states.

READ ALSO: Italian police seize €250 million and arrest 56 in latest mafia blitz

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, quoted in Interpol’s statement, said the arrests demonstrated his country’s commitment to “fighting all forms of organised crime and locating dangerous fugitives”.

The ‘Ndrangheta is considered Italy’s most extensive and powerful mafia group, Interpol said, operating worldwide and with strong ties to the trade in cocaine bound for Europe from South America

I-CAN’s job is help raise awareness of ‘Ndrangheta and their modus operandi, sharing police information to dismantle their networks and operations, the agency said.

The arrest of Greco, who worked in the evenings in a pizza restaurant under an assumed named according to Italian media, came a week after Italian police said it had dismantled a ‘Ndrangheta mafia ring dominating a large area of southern Calabria and seized assets exceeding 250 million euros.

Fifty-six people, many already in prison, were put under criminal investigation for a series of crimes including mafia-related conspiracy, extortion, kidnapping, bribery and possession of weapons, police and prosecutors said.

The arrest of Greco comes just over two weeks after Italian police arrested one of the most notorious bosses of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra mafia, Matteo Messina Denaro, who had been on the run for 30 years.

The 60-year-old was arrested after visiting a health clinic where he was being treated in the Sicilian capital Palermo

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