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Saturday, August 23, 2008

No charges to be laid in death of Italian immigrant in Quebec City

August 23, 2008

QUEBEC — No criminal charges will be laid after an Italian immigrant died in police custody two days after he was shocked four times with a stun gun.

Crown prosecutors say there is no evidence Quebec City police used more force than necessary in apprehending Claudio Castagnetta last September. The Crown decision came after it studied the autopsy report into Castagnetta's death as well as the findings of a Quebec provincial inquiry into the incident. And the Crown says there is nothing in the autopsy report to indicate Castagnetta's death was caused directly by the stun gun.

Castagnetta died Sept. 20 from self-inflicted head wounds while he was being detained by Quebec City police. His death came two days after he was shocked four times by police using a stun gun when they were called to a convenience store. At that time, Castagnetta appeared disoriented and refused to leave. Witnesses said he resisted when police attempted to handcuff him and he was struck several times with the stun gun.

The Italian government complained to the Quebec government about the speed with which the province addressed the matter.

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