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Arrigoni murder trial to resume Monday

Oct. 7, 2011 7:31 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 8, 2011 4:25 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The military trial for four people suspected in the killing of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni will resume on Oct. 10, officials in Gaza City said this week.

The court held its fifth session on Monday and heard from witnesses brought by the prosecution including a forensics specialist from the Gaza police forces and a pathologist.

Of the four suspects, two are accused of murder, a third of having helped in the kidnap and killing, and a fourth of providing the house where the body of Arrigoni was found hanging, hours after he was snatched.

Arrigoni, a long-time member of the International Solidarity Movement, was kidnapped on April 14.

Shortly after his disappearance, a previously unknown Salafist group released a YouTube video showing a bruised and bloodied Arrigoni and threatened to kill him within 30 hours if Hamas failed to release a group of jihadist prisoners.

Security forces found Arrigoni's body shortly afterward, ahead of the stated deadline, in an abandoned house in northern Gaza.

Among those the group demanded be freed was a leader of the Salafist group Tawhid wal Jihad (Unity and Holy War), which denied involvement in the incident.

Hamas quickly arrested several suspects in the case, and a week later raided a house where three more suspects were reportedly hiding.

Two were killed during the raid, and a third was taken into custody.

Arrigoni's death shocked the local community and international aid workers and activists in Gaza, where he had lived and worked for much of the three years prior to his death.

AFP contributed to this report.
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