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CRIME

Italian police arrest six in connection with Genoa bridge collapse

Italy's financial police have arrested the former boss of motorway operator Autostrade in connection with the deadly collapse of the Genoa bridge, officials said Wednesday.

Italian police arrest six in connection with Genoa bridge collapse
A file photo shows the now-rebuilt Genoa motorway bridge in 2018. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Police said they had imposed measures including house arrest on three former and three current managers of Autostrade, a subsidiary of Italian

infrastructure group Atlantia.
 
 
News reports said Giovanni Castellucci, the former boss of both Autostrade and Atlantia, was among those under house arrest.
 
The financial police said the allegations, part of an investigation running alongside the main probe into the bridge collapse, regarded transport safety and fraud.
 
Autostrade was responsible for maintenance on the Genoa bridge, which collapsed in August 2018 killing 43 people.
 
The collapsed bridge in August 2018. Photo: AFP
 
The officials are suspected notably of ignoring defects in the barriers on the bridge, despite the potential risk to road safety, particularly in strong
winds.
 
Castellucci's lawyers stressed that the arrests on Wednesday were part of a “completely separate” case from that of the bridge collapse.
 
 
In a statement carried by Italian media, they expressed confidence that the investigation would find he had done nothing wrong.
 
 
Autostrade along with several transport ministry officials is also under judicial investigation for culpable homicide over the bridge collapse..
 
A total of 74 people are accused in the ongoing legal case, which has seen investigators use a super computer to trawl through thousands of documents and files seized from Autostrade offices and the transport ministry.

The Morandi bridge has since been rebuilt, while many more of Italy's road bridges are now thought to be at risk of collapse.

READ ALSO: Did Italian authorities know Genoa's Morandi Bridge was at risk of collapse?

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CRIME

 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

Italian police on Saturday arrested a mafia member suspected of killing two alleged Chinese prostitutes and a Colombian sex worker in Rome, local media reported.

 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

The bodies of the two Chinese women were discovered in a residential building in the upmarket Prati district on Thursday morning, while the body of the South American was found in an apartment in the same neighbourhood an hour later.

All three victims were stabbed, according to Italian media reports.

According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, footage from surveillance cameras allowed police to identify 51-year-old Giandavide De Pau, who had been prosecuted in the past for drug trafficking and sexual assault.

The suspect is reportedly a member of a mafia clan headed by Michele Senese, who is currently serving a life sentence. De Pau is believed to have been one of Senese’s closest collaborators, acting as his personal driver and handyman.

In 2008 and 2011, the suspect had also spent time in a psychiatric hospital.

It is unknown whether the suspected killer was carrying out a mafia hit or acting alone, possibly under the influence of drugs, which were found at the home of some family members where he is believed to have sought refuge after the police manhunt got underway, Corriere della Sera reported.

Several newspapers had warned of a possible “serial killer” in the Italian capital.

The body of one of the Chinese victims was spotted by a neighbour where it lay, naked on a landing. The woman, believed to be in her 40s, had suffered head and stomach injuries, the newspaper said.

When police entered her apartment, they found the body of the second Chinese woman.

Nobody in the building appeared to have heard the murders take place, according to residents.

“Everybody knew there was a house of ill repute here, I’d see people arriving at 2:00 am, 3:00 am,” a woman who lived in the building told reporters.

The body of the Colombian, who was 65, was found by a friend, Corriere della Sera said.

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