Paparazzo turned extortionist caught in Lisbon


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The Independent Online

A tearful Fabrizio Corona, Italy’s “Paparazzo King” who extorted money from sport stars, celebrities and even Silvio Berlusconi’s daughter, was arrested in Lisbon by Portuguese police and put on a plane back to Italy today.

But the shock of travelling economy class, handcuffed to an Italian police officer, was the least of the celebrity photographer’s worries, as he contemplated many years in prison following his definitive conviction for blackmail.

The Supreme Court of Cassation declared last Friday that he should be jailed for five years for demanding €25,000 from French football star, David Trezeguet, to prevent the publication of pictures showing the married sportsman leaving a nightclub in the company of a young woman.

But by absconding to Lisbon, Corona, 38, has now seen his sentence upped to seven years and 10 months.

“I wanted to start again here because I think my sentence in Turin is completely unjust and I fear for my life in an Italian prison,” he told his lawyer Nadia Alecci. Corona gave himself up, after arranging a meeting with Portuguese police. Italian police officers who were present, said he was “disheartened” and “depressed” and “crying.”