Emotional funeral in Campania for Carabiniere officer killed in Rome

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Emotional funeral in Campania for Carabiniere officer killed in Rome

lastampa.it

Several state officials have ttended the ceremony, including Deputy Premiers Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, and Rome’s Mayor, Virginia Raggi.

It was an emotional Monday, July 29, for Italians as the funeral for Mario Cerciello Rega, the 35-year-old Carabiniere police officer who was stabbed to death in Rome on Friday, took place at the Santa Maria del Corso church in his hometown of Campania, Somma Vesuviana. Two young American men are currently in jail in relation to homicide, which took place after a drug deal escalated and Rega was stabbed to death 11 times.

State officials such as Deputy Premiers, Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio; Defense Minister, Elisabetta Trenta, and Lower House Speaker, Roberto Fico were among the mourners present at the church. Rome’s Mayor, Virginia Raggi, and the Regional president, Vincenzo de Luca were also in attendance. Italy’s President, Sergio Matarella, sent a wreath in commemoration, while Premier Giuseppe Conte paid his respects to Rega’s body on Sunday.

The 35-year-old officer had gotten married less than two months ago and had only recently returned to duty after his honeymoon in Madagascar. A well-liked and cheerful character, he is considered a hero for his work on and off duty. He volunteered for the Order of Malta, accompanying sick people to Lourdes and Loreto, and also regularly went to Rome's Termini train station to feed the needy.

A heartfelt ceremony

Monsignor Santo Marcianò, the priest presiding over Rega’s funeral said on Monday: "If we all are able to learn a sense of the State and of common good from men like Mario, Italy will rise up.”

Cerciello Rega's wife was in tears as she read a heartfelt piece on "being the wife of a Carabiniere" and “promised to love and honor him every day for the rest of her life.”

The Carabinieri Commander, General Giovanni Nistri, said "debates" about the homicide should be "put aside today". Nistri stressed that Cerciello Rega died to "protect the rights of everyone, including those of an arrested person. "Together we ask for respect for all the other Carabinieri who do the same job".

The two American attackers

In an email sent to various media outlets, relatives of 19-year-old Lee Elder Finnegan wrote: "We are deeply concerned about our son. We are planning to go to Rome as soon as the State Department assures us that we can see him." The Elder family sent La Stampa the following comment yesterday: "We have not been able to communicate with our son since 26 July, when he called us from the police station. We are working with the State Department, but diplomats have not had access to Finn. What we know so far is that he has been assigned an office lawyer to handle his case."

A photograph of the other attacker--a blindfolded Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth--was on the frontpage of CNN’s website yesterday. US authorities are currently following the story, which is generating a whirlwind of attention for Italy unprecedented since the days of Amanda Knox (another case when Italy’s judicial system was suspected of violating prisoners’ rights).

Natale Hjorth has dual Italian and American citizenship. His father's name is Fabrizio Natale and he works in the financial sector for the Washington State Investment Board. His mother, Heidi Hjorth, works as a real estate agent for Sotheby's in the rich Marin County, where she owns several properties

The Elders live in the Sunset District of San Francisco, in a house worth 1.4 million dollars, and drive a Mercedes. The son attended the expensive Sacred Heart Cathedral school, where he played football, but before transferring to Tamalpais High School after being expelled for fighting. Finn calls himself the "King of Nothing" in his Instagram bio, with the caption: "Death is guaranteed, life is not".

Wed, 07/31/2019 - 18:45
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