Italy sentences Germany mafia massacre man to life

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An Italian court on Tuesday handed out a life sentence to the man accused of being behind a mafia massacre outside a pizzeria in the German town of Duisburg in 2007 that left six rival clan members dead.

Giovanni Strangio was arrested in the Netherlands in 2009 and extradited to Italy to face trial for the killings -- part of a long-running vendetta between the Nirta-Strangio and Pelle-Vottari clans of the powerful 'Ndrangheta mafia.

Strangio was accused of being the main organiser and one of the gunmen in the Duisburg attack outside the Da Bruno restaurant, which shocked Germany and threw a spotlight onto the international network of the 'Ndrangheta.

The court in Locri in the southern region of Calabria -- the bastion of the feared crime syndicate -- also gave life sentences to seven others accused of taking part in the bloody feud which has left 16 people dead since the 1990s.

The killings "were the result of deep-rooted and blind hatred that accumulated as years went by," the prosecutor had said in closing remarks.

Investigators pointed to an escalation in the reprisals following the murder on Christmas Day 2006 of Maria Strangio, clan leader Giovanni Nirta's wife.

© 2011 AFP

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