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Spy Deaths on Boat in Italy Ignite Conspiracy Theories

What, Italians wondered, were all those spies really doing on a Sunday afternoon cruising on a rental boat named the “Good…uria” (a play on an Italian term for pleasure)? The gathering was quickly labeled a “spy party” by several media outlets.

Some outlets speculated whether the Alpine boat trip had been an opportunity to swap information. Was it a coincidence that the skipper was fluent in Bulgarian, as some noted, and married to a Russian, Anna Bozhkova? Had the spies been scoping the lake for Russian magnates investing nearby, as the Milan daily newspaper Corriere della Sera posited on Thursday?

The prosecutor looking into the incident, Massimo De Filippo, and his boss, the chief prosecutor Carlo Nocerino, said such questions were outside the scope of their investigation, which is to determine what made the boat capsize and sink.

Carlo Carminati, 60, the skipper, is being investigated on suspicion of negligent homicide, causing a shipwreck and being responsible for injuring the surviving passengers. “We’re not interested in what the passengers were doing,” said Mr. Nocerino in an interview in his office in Busto Arsizio in Lombardy, the region containing the part of the lake where the boat sank.

Mr. Nocerino said that he had asked the captain of the team trying to bring the boat to the surface to advise him immediately when it was back above water, so that he and Mr. De Filippo would be the first aboard.

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