Authorities in the central Italian city of Perugia jailed veteran crime reporter Mario Spezi on April 7, just days before the publication of a book he co-authored with U.S. writer Douglas Preston about the 1968-85 "Monster of Florence" murders in the province of Tuscany. Authorities did not show a warrant when they arrested Spezi, and they did not explain why or where they were taking him. He was placed under criminal investigation for allegedly defaming Perugia prosecutors, attempting to sidetrack an official murder probe by planning to plant evidence, and allegedly taking part himself in a 1985 murder. Spezi was detained for 22 days. After CPJ advocacy sparked international attention, a three-judge appellate panel on April 29 voided the order to detain Spezi and ordered his release.

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