Mobster's Sicily villa handed to the media
Thursday 18 February 2010
The keys of the Sicilian villa where the notorious Mafia godfather Toto "the Beast" Riina spent his final months as a fugitive have been handed over to the local branch of the Italian journalists' guild, several of whose members died under his bloody rein.
The gift is the latest from the national agency that confiscates mob assets and hands them over to deserving causes. Sicilian journalist leaders immediately dedicated their new headquarters to colleagues who were killed for exposing the activities of the Mob.
"This will become our home," said the head of the Sicilian branch of the national journalists' guild, Franco Nicastro. "It will be an outpost of legality and a memorial to slain journalists."
The Italian state has been steadily seizing and redistributing the assets of jailed mafiosi for many years. Under law introduced in 1996, the state automatically assumes ownership of goods and property of those convicted of serious Mafia-related crime. The state then allows assets such as property to be used by other groups, as with the Sicilian journalists, or sometimes the assets are sold off at auction.
The process was stepped up recently when ministers launched a new agency to co-ordinate confiscations. The organisation is based in Reggio Calabria, in Calabria, a region with a powerful crime syndicate of its own, the 'Ndrangheta.
Riina, the architect of a bombing campaign that killed 20 people including anti-Mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992-1993, was arrested outside the Palermo villa in 1993 after 23 years on the run.
One of his associates' properties was handed over to the Addiopizzo movement, which campaigns against Mafia extortion rackets in Sicily.
Addiopizzo spokeswoman Veronica Chisari said: "Giving the villa to the journalists' guild is an important sign, because many lost their lives doing their job here."
- 2 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for? The Independent quiz matches best political party for undecided voters ahead of the general election
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian combined with near-naked ensemble
Syria's 'circle of hell': Aleppo residents describe children without heads, streets filled with blood and injuries never before witnessed by surgeons
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...