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Crime Of Different Kinds

  • March 23rd, 2009
  • Posted by EUEditor

naples-flarenetwork.jpgDistressing crimes, and their consequences were recorded in the month of March in Austria, Germany and Ireland.

NAPLES’ ANTI-MAFIA PARADE

More than 100 000 people marched along the seafront in Naples on Saturday (21.3.09) to protest against the depredations of organised crime in their society.

The annual Spring parade was aimed at the Neopolitan gangs called Camorra, and also the Calabrian  ‘Ndrangheta, and the Sicilian mafia – Costa Nostra.

naples-castlereaghgov.jpgOrganised crime has got control of sections of the construction industry, and garbage and recycling operations in Naples, leading to massive break-downs in services.

The crowds heard the names of some 900 people killed by criminals in recent times, and included journalists, priests, community and political leaders who have been threatened with murder by the gangsters.

SHOOTING TRAGEDY IN GERMANY

winnenden-3-09.JPGMourners gathered on Saturday (21.3.09) at the South-west German town of Winnenden for a service in honour of the 15 victims of the shooting massacre there on 11.3.09.

Nine hundred people including Germany’s state President, Horst Koehler, and the Chancellor, Angela Merkel, filled the church, with 7500 more watching monitors outside.

On the Wednesday of the attacks, a youth aged 17 went back to his former high school and opened fire on people in three classrooms, killing eight girls, a boy and three teachers.

After hijacking a car he killed three others before being confronted by police and turning the gun on himself.

The youth, who lived in the town near Stuttgart, had got the firearm from an armoury kept by his father, a member of a gun club.

He had posted a warning on the Internet that he would commit murders, claiming “everybody is laughing at me”, though he later qualified the notice as a joke.

The episode has predictably revived global debate about gun control, young people’s access to violent computer games and social isolation.

FRITZL GAOLED

fritzl-josef-09.jpgJosef Fritzl, 73, (picture) the Austrian engineer who imprisoned his daughter in a basement for 24 years, forcing her to have seven children by him, was gaoled for life on Wednesday (18.3.09).

He pleaded guilty to all charges, of illegal detention, rape, and the murder of a newborn baby boy who died through neglect, after being confronted in court by his abused daughter, Elizabeth, 42.

Fritzl, who locked her away when 18, at Amstetten in Austria, was described as sane in the legal sense, in medical advice to the court, though he will be kept in the psychiatric wing of a prison.

MADOFF’S PLEA

madoff-2-publicradio.jpgThe American financial fraudster Bernard (“Bernie”) Madoff, 70, who took down his clients for an estimated $US65-billion (A$94.5-billion, dcerates.com, 23.3.09), pleaded guilty to charges related to the swindle — a variant on pyramid investments schemes.

He appeared in court in New York expensively dressed and in handcuffs; he is to be sentenced in June, for offences with possible accumulated penalties of some  years imprisonment.

The tentacles of the Madoff scheme extend to several countries and are the subject of extensive investigations notably in France, and elsewhere in Europe.

“IRA” AGAIN: SECTARIAN SHOOTINGS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

In Northern Ireland, police made arrests in the aftermath of political murders claimed by splinter groups from the former terrorist organisation, the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Two soldiers were shot dead and four other people injured (7.3.09) when gunmen opened fire, as some pizzas were being delivered outside an Antrim military base. Three were arrested in connection with the crime, being claimed by a group identifying itself as the “Real IRA”.

A police constable was shot dead at Craigavon two days later (9.3.09); two were arrested the next day, and by 19.3.09 seven were being detained for questioning over that. This was claimed by the “Continuity IRA”.

n-ireland-vigil-flickr.jpgThousands of citizens joined silent peace protests throughout Northern Ireland demanding no return to the sectarian violence that arose in 1969 and prevailed for a quarter of a Century.

Members the Catholic Sinn Fein political party now in parliament disowned the murders this month and leaders of former Protestant paramilitary organisations said there would be no retaliation.

IRISH HOLD-UP ARRESTS

Police in Dublin arrested seven suspects (1.3.09) in the violent robbery of €7-million (A$13.8-million) from the Bank of Ireland.

Armed robbers wearing masks had burst into the family home of a bank officer, threatened his family, and forced him to assist in getting the money from the bank branch where he worked.

Picture:

Naples crime, flamenetwork.org; garbage, castlereagh; Winnenden, wikipedia; madoff, publicradio.org; Northern Ireland, 2008 peace vigil, flickr.

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