[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Friday, 12 August, 2005, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Czechs arrest Italian Mafia boss
Putrone arrested in Czech Republic
Luigi Putrone was arrested by Czech police as he ran errands
A fugitive Italian Mafia boss who has been on the run for six years has been arrested in the Czech Republic.

Police in Prague said Luigi Putrone had probably been living in the Czech Republic for several years since going on the run in the late 1990s.

An Italian court has already sentenced him in absentia to life imprisonment for murders and Mafia-related crimes.

Mr Putrone, 44, from Agrigento in Sicily, was listed among Italy's top 30 most wanted Mafia bosses.

Italian police had alerted their Czech colleagues that Mr Putrone may be in the country.

Extradition

He was arrested as he left a bakery in Usti nad Labem, some 100km (62 miles) north-west of Prague, near the German border.

"He passed in an instant from the serenity of a life built on blood, violence and shady dealings to the certainty of a life in prison," Italian police said in a statement.

Czech police are now investigating whether Mr Putrone was linked to organised crime in the Czech Republic.

Italy hopes Mr Putrone can be extradited as soon as possible.

Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said his arrest "represents the latest confirmation of the great effort with which our authorities carry out the fight to the death against mafia organisations".


SEE ALSO:
Hunt for elusive Naples mafiosi
01 Feb 05 |  Europe
Mafia turf war grips Naples
24 Nov 04 |  Europe


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific