'Independent Sicily' plot

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ROME - The Mafia is plotting with some politicians and freemasons to split Sicily and southern Italy from the rest of the country and control them itself, according to a leading Mafia 'supergrass', writes Patricia Clough.

Leonardo Messina, a former right-hand man of the top Mafia boss Salvatore Riina, hinted that these politicians could belong to the Northern League, the protest movement which wants Italy to become a federation of two or three states, and sometimes talks of secession by the north. Messina was giving evidence to the parliamentary Anti- Mafia committee.