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Romanian detained in priest murder

Father Lazzaro Longobardi's skull bashed in with iron bar

04 March, 10:32
Romanian detained in priest murder (ANSA) - Cosenza, March 4 - Italian police on Tuesday detained a young Romanian man in connection with the murder of a priest in Calabria at the weekend.

The man, who was not named, was served a detention order, without charges, after a 14-hour questioning session.

Father Lazzaro Longobardi, 69, was found battered to death outside his parish church in the town of Cassano allo Ionio on the northern Calabrian coast Sunday.

His skull has been bashed in.

The suspected murder weapon, an iron bar, was found under his body.

His local bishop told police Monday the priest had been "afraid" because of demands for money.

The Romanian is believed to have been the person who asked Father Longobardi for cash.