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'Champion of legality' shot dead near Bari

Legal activism won Pietro Capone many enemies, prosecutors say

11 March, 16:40
'Champion of legality' shot dead near Bari (ANSA) - Bari, March 11 - Prosecutors investigating the murder of a man in the southern region of Puglia said Tuesday the victim's anti-crime activism may have been partly to blame. Pietro Capone, 49, was shot in the head near his home in Gravina in Puglia, near Bari, late Monday evening.

He was well known in the town as a champion of legality and filed numerous complaints for alleged administrative abuses, often concerning unlawful construction. A solitary man with a degree in law, Capone is said to have made a lot of enemies as a result of his activism. Over the years he reported numerous construction companies, often obtaining the withdrawal of building permits, and he also took issue with the town council over the expropriation of land belonging to his family.

Most recently he reported what he claimed was the illegal sale of burial recesses in the local cemetery. His complaints were said to always be detailed and precise.

Mayor of Gravina Alessio Valente spoke of the "anger" and "dismay" felt by the local community in relation to "a violent act that offends the serenity of my fellow citizens".