Italian police investigate picture of blindfolded US murder suspect as hundreds gathered to mourn the policeman allegedly murdered by two American teenagers .
Hundreds of mourners gathered on Monday for the funeral of a policeman allegedly murdered by two American teenagers in Rome.
Six policemen carried the coffin of Mario Cerciello Rega out of the church where the 35-year-old got married less than two months ago in his hometown of Somma Vesuvienna, near Naples.
A giant picture of Cerciello was held above the coffin, which was covered with an Italian flag and a shirt of Napoli, his favourite football team.
Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Deputy Prime Ministers Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio were in attendance.
Cerciello was stabbed to death in Rome on Friday while trying to arrest two Americans who are now in custody.
Judicial sources said the students are Finnegan Lee Elder, 19, and Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth, 18, both from San Francisco. They face charges of murder and attempted extortion.
Italian police have launched an investigation into a picture showing a US student suspected of killing the officer in a blindfold and handcuffs soon after the arrest.
The picture of Natale-Hjorth with head bowed and eyes covered by a blue blindfold at a police station started circulating on the Internet on Saturday and was published by several Italian newspapers on Sunday.
Police did not deny the authenticity of the picture.
"The general command of the (military police) Carabinieri disassociate themselves from the release and disclosure of photos of persons arrested for the murder of (officer) Mario Cerciello Rega," they said in a statement late on Saturday.
"The Carabinieri command in Rome is carrying out with extreme urgency an investigation to identify who is responsible."
Human rights associations condemned the picture as disturbing, but Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini dismissed the controversy.
"To those who complain about the blindfolding of a person arrested, I remind them that the only victim to cry for is a ... Carabiniere ... who died while doing his job, killed by people who, if guilty, deserve spending their life in prison," Salvini said on Twitter.