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Poland to seek extradition from Italy of gang rape suspects

September 4, 2017
FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017 file photo, police officers inspect the area where where a gang rape of a Polish tourist and the beating of her partner took place in Rimini, Italy. Police in Italy say they've arrested a Congolese refugee as the fourth suspect in gang rapes at a beach resort. Rimini police chief Maurizio Improta says the man was caught Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017 morning on a train about to leave a nearby town. On Saturday, the other three suspects, all minors, including two Moroccan teenage brothers, were detained in the rape of a Polish tourist, the savage beating of her companion and the rape of a Peruvian woman shortly after the first attack. (Manuel Migliorini/ANSA via AP)
FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017 file photo, police officers inspect the area where where a gang rape of a Polish tourist and the beating of her partner took place in Rimini, Italy. Police in Italy say they've arrested a Congolese refugee as the fourth suspect in gang rapes at a beach resort. Rimini police chief Maurizio Improta says the man was caught Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017 morning on a train about to leave a nearby town. On Saturday, the other three suspects, all minors, including two Moroccan teenage brothers, were detained in the rape of a Polish tourist, the savage beating of her companion and the rape of a Peruvian woman shortly after the first attack. (Manuel Migliorini/ANSA via AP)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland will seek the extradition from Italy of the four suspects in the gang rape of a Polish tourist on a beach, Poland’s deputy justice minister said Monday.

Patryk Jaki said the country was planning to open negotiations with the Italian side over extraditing the four, who are also alleged to have attacked the victim’s partner at the Italian resort of Rimini in the early hours of Aug. 26. The four are also alleged to have raped a Peruvian woman on the same night in a separate incident.

Italian prosecutors said the suspects have denied any individual wrongdoing but claim that others within the group were responsible.

It’s not immediately clear if Italy would agree to Poland’s extradition request.

“I don’t want to jump to conclusions,” Jaki told state Radio 3.

He said the four, if found guilty, should “face very high punishment as an example, because the punishment should be preventive and make others think seven times before they try to commit such a crime.”

The suspects are a 20-year-old Congolese asylum-seeker, two Moroccan brothers, aged 15 and 17, who were born in Italy and a 16-year-old Nigerian, also reportedly born in Italy.

Reports in Poland say a watch belonging to the partner of the raped Pole was found on the Congolese suspect.

Cristina Ugolini, the head of a center assisting migrants in Pesaro, where the Congolese suspect was assigned, told Sky TG24 TV he had been granted “humanitarian protection” in September 2016 and attended the center until April 2017, without providing any cause for alarm.

“He was sociable, well-mannered, kind,” Ugolini said.

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Frances D’Emilio in Rome contributed to this report

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