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Indian arrested for murder in Italy (Lead)

Anzio (Italy), June 24, 2010:

An Indian man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a fellow Indian whose headless body was found on a beach in a town south of Rome, an official said.

The suspect, whom police have only identified as "G" Singh, is the second man arrested for the murder of 46-year-old Hoshiar Singh in Anzio March 13.

The victim is believed to have come from India's Punjab state, but little is known about how he came to be in Italy.

Another suspect, Gurjant Singh, was detained on the day of the murder when he was found with blood on his clothing. He maintains his innocence.

Major Emanuele Gaeta, head of the Carabinieri paramilitary police in Anzio, told AKI that "G" Singh was caught off guard when he was arrested.

"He was surprised. He didn't think he would be linked to the murder or that he would be arrested," Gaeta said.

"The suspect arrested (Wednesday) helped drag the body to the beach from a small house around 70-100 metres away," said Gaeta. "There were traces of blood, bloody clothes and the axe used in the murder found in the house."

"Ninety percent of the puzzle has been solved. We still need to put together the other 10 percent of what happened."

Police suspect Hoshiar Singh and "G" Singh, neither of whom are related to the victim or each other, killed the man with repeated blows to his chest with an axe before removing his head and moving the body to the beach in the town of Anzio, around 60 km south of Rome.

The head still has not been found and probably "disappeared after being tossed into the sea", Gaeta said.

A spokesman for the Indian embassy said the men were sharing a house near Anzio.

They may have been drinking at the time of the murder because some beer bottles were found at the crime scene, according to Gaeta, who said the local Indian community knew the trio as people who would "go out together".

"The drinking may have led to an argument that resulted in the murder," Gaeta said.

All three men spoke some Italian and had lived in Italy for "six or seven" years prior to the murder. For work they would get by with day jobs, Gaeta said.

The suspects will stay in prison until their trial, according to Gaeta, who didn't give a time frame. If sentenced they could serve "10, 15, 16 years".

"The crime may have been done during the heat of the moment. In Italy there is rarely a life sentence."