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Italy: Teen held in officer's death 'illegally blindfolded'

By The News · 31 of July 2019 07:38:35
AP Photo,, No available, In this combo photo released by Italian Carabinieri, Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth, right, and Finnegan Lee Elder, sit in their hotel room in Rome. Two American teenagers were jailed in Rome on Saturday as authorities carry out a murder investigation in the killing of Italian police officer Mario Cerciello Rega, 35. A detention order issued by prosecutors was shown on Italian state broadcaster RAI, naming the suspects as Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth and Finnegan Lee Elder. (Italian Carabinieri via AP)

ROME (AP) — An Italian police commander says an American teenager who is under investigation for a police officer’s slaying in Rome was “illegally blindfolded” briefly before his interrogation.

Carabinieri Provincial Cmdr. Francesco Gargaro told The Associated Press in a phone interview Sunday that 18-year-old Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth was blindfolded “for a very few minutes, four or five” on Friday before he was questioned about the fatal stabbing of officer Mario Cerciello Rega.

Italian newspapers published a photo of Natale-Hjorth blindfolded with what appears to be a scarf and with his arms handcuffed behind his back in a room at a police station.

He and another American, 19-year-old Finnegan Lee Elder, remain jailed as suspects in the officer’s killing.

Cerciello Rega was stabbed eight times on a street close to the teens’ upscale hotel in Rome.