Italy: Moroccan Who Killed 8 With Car in 2010 Arrested for New Deadly Crash

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A 32-year-old Moroccan man who was found guilty of a deadly hit-and-run that left eight dead in 2010 has been arrested after another fatal driving incident as he attempted to flee Italy to Morocco.

 Chafik El Ketani was involved in a fatal car crash earlier this month on the evening of September 6th when his rented car crashed against a motorway guardrail, killing passenger Nouredine Fennane and forcing El Ketani to be hospitalised due to injuries sustained in the accident.

It was later revealed that the Moroccan had been under the influence of drugs during the incident, but after just a few days of recovery in a hospital in the city of Catanzaro he signed discharge papers and made an attempt to flee to his native Morocco, online newspaper Calabria7 reports.

After fleeing Catanzaro, which lies in the south of Italy in Calabria, the migrant was traced by police thanks to data from his mobile phone and found at another hospital in Bologna, nearly 600 miles away, where he was taken into custody after allegedly wanting to flee to Morocco.

According to another report from the newspaper Il Giornale, the Moroccan had served just five years in prison after being convicted in 2010 for another fatal car crash in which he killed eight cyclists while driving a Mercedes car without a license and also under the influence of drugs. His eight-year-old nephew was in the vehicle as well.

Initially, El Ketani was sentenced to eight years in prison, one year for each victim in the incident, but was let out after just five years served and evidently not deported.

Roberto Calderoli, a member of populist senator Matteo Salvini’s League (Lega), commented on the incident questioning how the Moroccan had been given a driver’s licence after his prior conviction and how he was able to rent a car.

“There are no words but only anger seeing the chain of blood caused by the 32-year-old Moroccan Chafik El Ketani,” Calderoli said and added, “Laws are made to protect citizens, not to give discounts or loopholes to murderers, right? Then a question: who returned the driver’s license to this criminal? This time we go all the way, we find the names and surnames of those who put this hit-and-run driver back behind the wheel, with the tragic consequences we see.”

The tactic of fleeing the country after a crime has been used by several wanted criminals over the years in Europe, many of them asylum seekers. In November of last year, an Afghan migrant accused of murdering his wife allegedly fled the country and returned to his native Afghanistan to escape justice, for example.

Another Afghan, who was also wanted for murder in Denmark, fled the country years ago to Afghanistan — but after the fall of the country to the Taliban in August he petitioned the Danish government to help him to return, claiming to fear for his life under Taliban rule.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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