An Italian national, convicted and sentenced for committing a brutal murder in Italy in 1988, was apprehended in Sintra, Portugal, by Italian police working closely with Portuguese police. He was carrying forged papers when he was caught boarding a train bound for Lisbon.
The fugitive escaped from a prison in Milan in 2007, and was recaptured in Utrecht, Netherlands. After his return to Italy, he was placed in a prison in Elba, where he escaped again in 2014. He had been in hiding for two years before his recapture yesterday.
His recapture would not have been possible without the Portuguese judicial authorities and the Polícia Judiciária Unidade Nacional Contra Terrorismo (UNCT) and the Italian Squadra Mobile of Ancona and the joint efforts of the Italian and Portuguese National Desks at Eurojust. Italian judicial authorities sent two Letters of Request to Portugal via Eurojust. Two European Arrest Warrants were issued separately, one from the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ancona, and the most recent one from Milan.
Eurojust assisted in establishing a contact point for the Italian police in Portugal, which enabled the Italian police to locate the fugitive.
Eurojust’s Italian National Member and Portuguese National Member remarked on the successful recapture: “The role of Eurojust cannot be underestimated. Telephone intercepts and telephone data were vital, and the two Letters of Request, issued by Italy to Portugal via Eurojust, provided the necessary data to trace the fugitive to Portugal. Italian police and judicial authorities, working closely and successfully with Portuguese police and judicial authorities, put into direct contact via Eurojust, located the fugitive. The important role played by Eurojust concerned the overcoming of the differences between Italian and Portuguese legislation on data retention, which had prevented the execution of the first Letter of Request sent by the Italian judicial authority. After the intervention of Eurojust, the case was solved in less than two months.”
A catamaran, owned and operated by an Italian woman, was rented by the fugitive in June 1988. The woman, who was acting as the skipper of the catamaran, was drugged, stabbed with a machete, and thrown into the Adriatic Sea in an apparent robbery. Her body was found 18 days later. The fugitive took the catamaran and was captured in Tunisia one month after the crime. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and concealment of the corpse.