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Germany

Suspected Mafia Killer Arrested in Germany

A suspected hired killer for the Sicilian Mafia was arrested Wednesday in western Germany where he was living in secret for more than six years, police said. The man identified as Josef F., a 36-year-old Italian national, went into hiding in Germany in January 1999 after having escaped an attempted arrest in Italy. An Italian court sentenced him in abstentia to life in prison in July 2001 after finding him guilty of committing seven crimes for the Cosa Nostra, or Mafia, according to a police spokesman. He was convicted, among other offenses, for the kidnapping and murder of a 12-year-old to put pressure on the child's father, who was a witness in a trial against the criminal organization. The man, who was born and spent 10 years of his childhood in the southwestern German state of Saarland, was arrested early Wednesday in the town of Spiesen-Elversberg. He had been under surveillance for several months as part of an international arrest warrant from Italian authorities. Some members of Italy's anti-Mafia investigative force took part in the arrest.

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