Second anti-Mafia judge killed by bomb

PALERMO (AP) - A car bomb killed Judge Paolo Borsellino, Sicily's leading anti-Mafia investigator, and five of his police escorts yesterday as he left his mother's home. Twenty people - including the one surviving police guard - were reported wounded, though not seriously.

The blast, heard for miles, blew out windows in apartment buildings and a school, destroyed the judge's armoured car and two police vehicles and showered passers-by with shards of glass and metal.

Mr Borsellino, 54, a walking databank on the Mafia, was left the nation's leading Mafia investigator after his close friend and collaborator, Judge Giovanni Falcone, the national anti-Mafia hero, was killed on 23 May in a spectacular bombing on a highway outside Palermo. Mr Falcone's wife and three police escorts were also killed.

'Two days ago I told (Borsellino) to leave Palermo,' said Pino Arlacchi, a sociologist who has studied the Mafia for years and knew both magistrates well. 'We're looking at a very clear strategy by the Mafia to kill,

one by one, inexorably, all those who have understood and accumulated knowledge about the Mafia.'

Referring to suspicions that Colombian drug traffickers had had a role in Falcone's assassination, Mr Arlacchi said: 'Let's not talk about Colombian connections . . . We have an enemy who is perfectly known.' Together, the two attacks wiped out a significant chunk of the state's front line against organised crime. The two men were considered brilliant and meticulous investigators of international organised crime and were the force behind convictions of hundreds of mob figures in the 1980s.

Giuseppe Ayala, an MP and former anti-Mafia investigator in Palermo, said that he heard an 'incredible blast' and raced out to his balcony, about 40 yards away. 'There were pieces of bodies all over . . . flames . . . The building and the one across from it looked like they were hit by a war.' Fragments of the car were sent flying up to 50 yards away.

The Mafia, Mr Ayala, said, are 'affirming their power' against the state. 'They're saying, 'We hit who we want, when we want.' '

'We are at war. It's a war with no limits and we must prepare ourselves to resist. We cannot dupe ourselves into believing this is the end,' said Aldo Rizzo, the Mayor of Palermo.

Claudio Martelli, the Justice Minister, called for an urgent session of parliament to enact a set of decrees, passed by the cabinet shortly after Falcone's killing, that toughens the way police and courts handle organised crime.

Giuliano Amato, the Italian Prime Minister, said the state 'will know how to respond' to the Mafia on learning of the assassination. 'He (Borsellino) feared that the decree strengthening co- operation between the police and the judiciary and lengthening the time allowed for investigation of the Mafia could not be approved in time by parliament. I say to these assassins and to those at war with the state that these measures will remain. These terrible deaths fill us with grief but strengthen our determination.'

President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro appealed on television last night to his compatriots to unite to defeat the Mafia. Saying that his appeal was 'anguished, deep and insistent', he called on all political and social groups to realise that 'this is the time to defend the credibility of our institutions'.

(Photographs omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Cabinet Maker / Joiner

£22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This bespoke furniture and inte...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic and Motion Designer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Do you get a buzz from thinking up new ideas a...

Recruitment Genius: Media Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£14500 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Female Care Worker

£7 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This expanding, vibrant charity which su...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones