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CRIME

‘Frozen’ wild boar used to fake road crash in Italy

Police in Sardinia are investigating two men who staged a traffic accident by claiming their vehicle had collided with a wild boar - which in fact turned out to be frozen.

'Frozen' wild boar used to fake road crash in Italy
Road accidents involving wild boar are sadly not unusual in Italy. Photo: Gregor Fischer/DPA/AFP

The men had hoped to win compensation from the region for the incident, but investigators became suspicious when they discovered the wild boar that had allegedly caused the crash had a slit throat, local media reported on Thursday.

A vet called to examine the body found the animal's internal organs were frozen, suggesting the beast had been killed and stashed in a freezer before being strategically placed at the “crash site”, the Unione Sarda newspaper reported.

The two men risk a hefty fine and prison term of at least a year over the stunt, it said.

Wild boar (cinghiale) are a common sight on and near roads in rural or forested areas in Italy, and fatal car accdents involving the creatures have prompted calls for a cull in some regions.

In Lombardy alone, there have been around 400 road accidents involving the animals in the last five years, according to agricultural association Coldiretti.

 
The number of wild boar in Italy has almost doubled in the last ten years, and “the presence of wild boars in population centres and on roads is now a real risk for the safety of citizens,” Coldiretti says.
 
In recent years, the animals have also been increasingly finding their way into towns and cties – most notably around the outskirts of Rome, where authorities say the animals are attracted by rubbish that has been piling up in the streets.

In a freak accident in 2017, one man was killed after his scooter collided with a wild boar in central Rome.

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CRIME

Italy remembers murdered anti-mafia judge Falcone

Italy commemorated the death of Italian judge Giovanni Falcone on Monday, thirty years after the brutal Capaci bombing.

Italy remembers murdered anti-mafia judge Falcone

The entire country paid tribute on Monday to anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, killed by the Sicilian mafia 30 years ago in a car bomb murder that shocked the country.

Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese laid a wreath at the memorial at the site of the blast at Capaci, near Palermo, that killed Falcone, his wife, and three members of his police escort on May 23rd 1992.

Another ceremony in Palermo was attended by Italian President Sergio Mattarella, whose brother Piersanti, then Sicily’s regional president, was also murdered by the mafia.

In a statement, Prime Minister Mario Draghi hailed the legacy of Falcone, saying that thanks to his “courage, professionalism and determination, Italy has become a freer and fairer country”.

He said Falcone and his colleagues – one of whom, Paolo Borsellino, was killed by Cosa Nostra two months later – “dealt decisive blows against the mafia”.

“Their heroism had rooted anti-mafia values in society, in new generations, in republican institutions,” he added, saying the “relentless fight against organised crime and […] the search for truth” must continue.

The mob used a skateboard to place a 500-kilogramme (1100-pound) charge of TNT and ammonium nitrate in a tunnel under the motorway which linked the airport to the centre of Palermo.

Falcone, driving a white Fiat Croma, was returning from Rome for the weekend. At a look-out point on the hill above, a mobster nicknamed “The Pig” pressed the remote control button as the judge’s three-car convoy passed.

The blast ripped through the asphalt, shredding bodies and metal, and flinging the lead car several hundred metres.

READ ALSO: How murdered judge Giovanni Falcone shaped Italy’s fight against the mafia

On July 19th, Borsellino was also killed in a car bomb attack, along with five members of his escort. Only his driver survived.

Falcone posed a real threat to Cosa Nostra, an organised crime group made famous by The Godfather trilogy, and which boasted access to the highest levels of Italian power.

He and Borsellino were later credited with revolutionising the understanding of the mafia, working closely with the first informants and compiling evidence for a groundbreaking ‘maxi-trial’ in which hundreds of mobsters were convicted in 1987.

“Thanks to Falcone and Borsellino, the Sicilian mafia became a notorious fact, not something that had to be proved to exist at every trial,” anti-mafia prosecutor Marzia Sabella told AFP.

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