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Mexican vigilante leader facing murder trial

Mexico City, Mar 20 (EFE).- A leader of self-defense groups who have been battling the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel in the western Mexican state of Michoacan was ordered bound over for trial on charges of accessory to murder. State magistrate Juan Salvador Alonso Mejia also instructed police to transfer Hipolito Mora to the prison in Apatzingan, where several Templarios are being held. Mora is accused of involvement in the murders of Rafael Sanchez Moreno and his driver, Jose Luis Torres Castañeda.

Child victims of Italy's 'men of dishonour'

The brutal murder of a three-year-old boy in a mafia ambush in southern Italy shows that the so-called "code of honour" among members of organised crime groups is pure myth, according to experts. Domenico was shot dead along with his mother and her partner when the car they were travelling in was attacked by gunmen in Taranto on Monday, sparking reactions of horror in Italy. Two other children in the car apparently only survived because they played dead.

Hells Angels biker is sent to jail for a total of 27 years in two separate cases

MONTREAL - A member of the Hells Angels chapter in Trois-Rivieres has been sentenced to a total of 27 years in jail. Normand (Casper) Ouimet was sentenced today by two different judges in two different cases. His two sentences will run consecutively. Quebec Superior Court Justice James Brunton sentenced Ouimet to 25 years after he pleaded guilty to reduced charges of conspiracy to commit murder stemming from Operation SharQc, a major sweep against the criminal biker gang.

Ukraine oligarch to stay in Austrian custody

A Ukrainian oligarch arrested in Austria last week will remain in custody until at least Friday, if not Monday, his lawyers told the Austria Press Agency on Tuesday. Authorities have set bail for Dmytro Firtash, a backer of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, at 125 million euros ($173.9 million), the highest in Austrian legal history, APA said. The 48-year-old energy, chemicals and media magnate was arrested in Vienna on March 12 on the basis of a US arrest warrant following a lengthy FBI investigation.

Toddler slain in Italy drug war

The killing of a three-year-old toddler along with two adults in an apparent fight for territory in a violent drug war has sparked reactions of horror in Italy. The victims -- a convicted murderer on day release from prison, his partner and her young son -- were killed in southern Italy late Monday after the car they were travelling in was forced off the road by gunmen in a second car, who then fired more than 15 bullets through the windscreen.

Ex-mafioso wins British battle against extradition to Italy

By Julia Fioretti LONDON (Reuters) - A fugitive Sicilian mafioso arrested in Britain last year after living a quiet suburban life under an alias for two decades won a battle against extradition on Monday when the court found that Italy's prison overcrowding could breach his human rights. Domenico Rancadore, 65, came to Britain in 1994, cutting all contact with his family in Italy and establishing himself as "Marc Skinner" in Uxbridge, west London, where he lived undetected for over 20 years with his wife and two children.

Mafia fugitive wins British extradition battle

Mafia fugitive Domenico Rancadore on Monday won his battle to avoid extradition from Britain to Italy. Rancadore, known as "The Professor", was arrested after evading Italian authorities for 20 years. The 64-year-old had been living quietly in the London suburbs. Italian prosecutors accuse Rancadore of fleeing Italy as he faced trial over his alleged Cosa Nostra connections. Senior District Judge Howard Riddle discharged Rancadore at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London.

Ex-Montreal cop pleads guilty to gangsterism-related charges in Hells case

MONTREAL - An ex-Montreal police investigator has pleaded guilty to a charge of gangsterism for selling sensitive information to criminal bikers. Benoit Roberge entered the plea in a Montreal courtroom this morning. He also pleaded guilty to breach of trust as he broke down in tears and apologized for his actions. Roberge originally faced four charges — one of obstructing justice, one of breach of trust and two related to gangsterism. Crown and defence attorneys are recommending a sentence of eight years. A judge will hand down the sentence on April 4.

Mob made money off construction deals without investing their own money: inquiry

MONTREAL - The Mafia usually didn't invest their own money in construction or real-estate deals, but they still walked away with a profit when the projects were finished, Quebec's corruption inquiry heard Wednesday. The Charbonneau Commission is tackling the reach and role of the Mob in major real-estate deals and the influential role played by late Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto in some of those projects. An inquiry investigator testified about organized-crime tactics when it came to the construction industry — a low-risk investment that reaped plenty of reward.

Evidence links Mexican vigilante leader to murders, official says

Mexico City, Mar 12 (EFE).- The vigilante leader arrested in western Mexico may have been the "facilitator, a participant or the one who covered up" the murders of two people, special commissioner for Michoacan state Alfredo Castillo said Wednesday, citing the evidence obtained by investigators.
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