Italy's 'top Mafia boss' is arrested
Tuesday 11 April 2006
The reputed head of Italy's Mafia, Bernardo Provenzano, was arrested today in the Sicilian countryside after more than 40 years on the run, the Interior Ministry said.
Provenzano, Italy's most wanted man, is believed to have taken over the Sicilian Mafia after the 1993 arrest of former boss Salvatore "Toto" Riina in Palermo.
Police had arrested "the man who, after the arrest of Toto Riina, is considered the most important person from Cosa Nostra," Interior Ministry Undersecretary Alfredo Mantovano said. He described the development as "an important step forward ... for the entire nation."
Italy's top anti-mafia prosecutor, Piero Grasso, who for years as Palermo's chief prosecutor had personally led the hunt for Provenzano, said on RAI radio that he felt "great satisfaction, great emotion" at the arrest.
A spokesman for the Palermo police, Agent Daniele Macaluso, said Provenzano had been arrested during the morning near Corleone, 37 miles south of Palermo and was being driven back to the Sicilian capital.
Provenzano has proven an elusive target.
Investigators have said they believe Provenzano has spent most of his years as a fugitive moving from house to house across Sicily, thanks largely to the help of Sicilians' reluctance to inform authorities.
Authorities even tracked the alleged mobster to a clinic in Marseille, France, where he apparently had prostate surgery, and showed a composite to clinic personnel.
As recently as last month, Provenzano's former lawyer was quoted as telling an Italian newspaper that the man was dead.
"I think he's dead, and has been dead for several years," Salvatore Traina was quoted as telling Rome-based daily La Repubblica. "They have looked for him everywhere, they have looked intensely for years but they can't find him. This must mean something."
Leoluca Orlando, former mayor of Palermo, immediately released a statement praising police and prosecutors in the Sicilian capital.
News of the arrest also prompted praise from many politicians, including President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...