American teen held for confessing to killing officer in Rome ‘illegally blindfolded’

An Italian police commander says an American teenager who is under investigation for a police officer’s slaying in Rome was “illegally blindfolded” briefly before his interrogation.

Carabinieri Provincial Cmdr. Francesco Gargaro told The Associated Press in a phone interview Sunday that 18-year-old Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth was blindfolded “for a very few minutes, four or five” on Friday before he was questioned about the fatal stabbing of officer Mario Cerciello Rega.

Italian newspapers published a photo of Natale-Hjorth blindfolded with what appears to be a scarf and with his arms handcuffed behind his back in a room at a police station.

He and another American, 19-year-old Finnegan Lee Elder, remain jailed as suspects in the officer’s killing.

Cerciello Rega was stabbed eight times on a street close to the teens’ upscale hotel in Rome.

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