PROSECUTORS in Rome have been asked to re-investigate the "mystery" death of an Italian woman in Scotland.

Twenty-five year-old Debora Rastelli was found dead in a Glasgow flat just over two years ago.

Local police believe there were no grounds to suspect foul play. However, Ms Rastelli's family are not satisfied and insist there are "absolutely suspicious and mysterious circumstances" around the case according to our sister title The Herald

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Last week their lawyer formally lodged a petition with the Procura della Repubblica, the Italian equivalent of Scotland's Crown Office, demanding an independent inquiry.

The legal challenge echoes efforts by relatives of Scot Kirsty Maxwell to get to the bottom of how she came to plunge to her death from the balcony of a Benidorm hotel just months before Ms Rastelli was discovered dead on her bathroom floor.

Politicians have recently raised concerns about how hard it is for grief-stricken families to deal with deaths abroad, especially getting information out of unfamiliar legal systems.

Ms Rastelli's mother, Maria Angela Rastelli, has launched a bitter attack on Scottish authorities for failing, as she sees it, to explain why they did not treat her daughter's death as a crime.

According to the Italian online newspaper Corriere Quotidiano, she said: "Debora was my only daughter, a healthy girl who was careful about her lifestyle and had no health problems of any kind.

"At a distance of two years after her mysterious death, I still have no peace of mind over how my poor daughter could have died."

The Scottish authorities, Mrs Rastelli added, "have not provided any official declaration about the death of my daughter aside from verbally ruling out foul play".

She said the Scottish authorities had failed to find a "shred of evidence" or a "single certain fact" to explain their finding that Ms Rastelli's death was not suspicious.

The Herald has asked Mrs Rastelli's lawyer, Saverio Lauretta, to explain what exactly had sparked the family's concerns. He declined to do so, citing Italian legal procedure.

Mr Lauretta presented both a petition and a dossier of documents to prosecutors in Rome. According to Italian news agencies, the petition states that Scottish authorities "hurriedly closed the case" without addressing "the many doubts" it raised.

Mrs Rastelli, meanwhile, also criticised Scottish authorities for taking too long, in her view, to pass on personal effects. They had done so with "no small resistance", she alleged.

Her daughter was found dead, by a flatmate, on on the morning of August 2, 2017, in her flat in Murano Street in the north of Glasgow.

Originally from the small town of Cossato in Piedmont, north-west Italy, she had moved to Scotland around a year earlier to learn English and find work, according to press reports.

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Police Scotland issued a statement saying there were "no suspicious circumstances". A brief local news story in Cossato about Ms Rastelli's funeral, on August 19, 2017, said she had "probably died as a result of a sudden illness".

A spokesman for the Crown Office declined to comment on foreign legal proceedings. However, he confirmed there had been an investigation in Scotland and that it had been closed without action.

He said: “The death of a 25 year-old woman in Glasgow on 2 August 2017 was investigated by Police Scotland under the direction of Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit (SFIU).

“After careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case, the Procurator Fiscal concluded that no further investigation was required."

The spokesman insisted that the Rastelli family had been kept informed of the investigation and that there had been no delays passing on effects.

He said: “Every enquiry from the Italian authorities was answered within a short timescale and the family were kept updated throughout the course of the investigation and assistance provided where appropriate.”

Scotland, unlike some other countries, does not automatically have public inquiries in to sudden or unexpected deaths. The Procurator Fiscal does, however, have to investigate them all and decides whether there is any evidence of criminality or any need for a full public hearing, a fatal accident inquiry.

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said the force had nothing to add to the statement issued by the Crown Office and its own previous statement that Ms Rastelli's death was not suspicious.