Andreotti is cleared of conspiracy to murder
Saturday 25 September 1999
The jury of two judges and six private citizens concluded there was no proof to convict Mr Andreotti of commissioning the Mafia killing of an investigative journalist twenty years ago. Mr Andreotti was charged with premeditated murder along with five other people.
His co-defendants - the former foreign trade minister Claudio Vitalone, two convicted Mafia bosses, Gaetano Badalamenti and Pippo Calo, a Mafia hitman, Michelangelo La Barbera, and a common criminal, Massimo Carminati - were also acquitted. Mr Andreotti, who is 80, did not attend the hearing. Lawyers for the prosecution are expected to appeal.
Mr Andreotti is still on trial in the Sicilian capital Palermo on Mafia association charges. The verdict in that case is due in the autumn.
The Perugia murder trial involved the death of a journalist with close links to the secret services, Mino Pecorelli, who was gunned down outside his Rome office in March 1979. The prosecution argued that Mr Andreotti ordered the killing because Mr Pecorelli had information that "would not be just embarrassing but dangerous" and planned to publish it in his magazine Osservatore Politico.
Shortly before his death, Mr Pecorelli was planning to publish an incriminating article on Mr Andreotti, then prime minister, entitled "All the President's Cheques", dealing with Mr Andreotti's role in the Italcasse scandal which involved slush funds, kickbacks and state bank loans to business associates in trouble.
But even more damaging, the prosecution argued, was the possible publication of a memoir written by a former leader of Mr Andreotti's Christian Democrats, Aldo Moro, who was kidnapped and murdered by the Red Brigades. During his imprisonment, Mr Moro, whose party refused to negotiate his release, apparently put on paper details of the scandals and misdoings of his party colleagues. Various and conflicting versions of the document exist.
Much of the prosecution case in the Pecorelli murder trial was based on the evidence of Mafia witnesses. The senator's defence lawyers say the informers are unreliable and are manipulated by magistrates to back up the prosecution case, in return for reductions in their own prison terms. They have stressed the crackdown on organised crime under one of Mr Andreotti's governments in the eighties.
They said Mr Andreotti was always surrounded by bodyguards and had no possibility to meet mafia bosses.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 4 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
- 5 QS university world rankings: Imperial College London leapfrogs Oxford to join Cambridge as best British university
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
QS university world rankings: Imperial College London leapfrogs Oxford to join Cambridge as best British university
Scottish independence exclusive: Millions of banknotes sent to Scotland in case Yes vote sparks run on ATMs
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...
£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...