Italian political heavyweights on trial in mafia bomb case
Monday 27 May 2013
Sicilian mob bosses and high-ranking Italian officials, both former and current, went on trial today over allegations they held secret negotiations to stop a wave of deadly mafia bombings in the early 1990s.
The trial stems from a period in Italian history when the “Bribesville” corruption investigations brought down the political establishment around the same time as a string of mafia bombs killed 21 people.
Prosecutors say the bombings stopped in 1994 after a deal brokered by Marcello Dell’Utri, a former senator and close associate of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Judge Alfredo Montalto opened the trial in a high-security “bunker” courthouse near Palermo.
Prosecutors allege that senior politicians and police officials held talks with the mafia after judge Giovanni Falcone, his wife and three bodyguards were assassinated by a bomb under a road in 1992.
The state’s willingness to enter talks after Falcone’s murder encouraged further bombings, prosecutors say, and prompted the assassination of prosecutor Paolo Borsellino because he had learned of and opposed the negotiations.
In exchange for stopping the bombings, the Sicilian mafia wanted lighter sentences for convicted gangsters.
“The state cannot sweep its responsibilities under the rug,” prosecutor Antonino Di Matteo told reporters before the hearing.
Berlusconi is not being charged. 10 defendants in total, including Dell’Utri, face charges that they sought to blackmail the state. All of them deny any wrongdoing.
- 1 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 2 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 3 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
Andreas Lubitz: Knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 enabled mass murder
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...