The Andreotti Affair: 'I have been a victim of shameless lies'

GIULIO ANDREOTTI yesterday sent a nine-page reply to the accusations of the pentiti as an addition to the 66-page legal defence drawn up by his lawyer, Odoardo Ascari, which was presented on Wednesday.

Saying he was the victim of 'machinations', he denied knowing any of the people they named in their statements, except Lima and the other Christian Democrat politicians. He denied Francesco Marino Man noia's allegations of meetings and added 'the already strong protective surveillance of my person by the police and carabinieri since the assassination of (the former prime minister) Moro had been further intensified.

'I was never without surveillance even for a single moment of the day. I have never been in Sicily except for official engagements and always under the watchful protection of the escort systems just mentioned. I had no authority to receive complaints about Mattarella with whom I had no specific links within the party. The episode of this reunion can therefore be classified with one single adjective: false.'

The account of the second meeting was 'also crudely false. I never went to Trapani in civilian aircraft, much less private ones. I never went to Trapani in all 1980, nor at any time except on official occasions when I was subjected to tight police protection and ceremonial protocol.'

It was 'curious' that he should have been warned against special anti- Mafia measures - 'I was not in government at the time. But could it not be a key to reading (a message): the vendetta by the Mafia for what happened later when these measures were adopted by governments presided over by me?

'. . . I don't know why Buscetta is lying so shamelessly. I don't want to suggest theories. The commission is well able to judge for itself. I will restrict myself to one observation: the people who might have confirmed the statements of Buscetta are all dead, and if they are not dead they are rumours from prison 'men of Cosa Nostra', too many, he says, to remember any one in particular. As for a visit to my studio by Badalamenti to intercede about a Rimi strike, my denial is similarly clear and decided.'

Mr Andreotti also denied allegations by Buscetta and other pentiti that the Mafia had offered to try to rescue Moro, but been told that 'someone' did not want him rescued. 'Everything possible was done, at home and abroad, to find where he was held . . . I had no information about Mafia efforts in this field, nor did I take any initiative in that direction.'

The suggestion that he was concerned that secrets about the Moro kidnapping would leak out was 'the height of absurdity and offensiveness'. He said it made it look as if General dalla Chiesa knew secrets and did not reveal them for obscure reasons. 'That is really too much.'

He warned that suggestions of a political plot would end up discrediting all the pentiti indiscriminately and thus endanger the results of the fight against the Mafia. It would blacken the name of General dalla Chiesa and exonerate the cupola, or the Mafia's government, of responsibility for its crimes.

The lawyer's defence sought instead to dismantle evey legal basis for the request to proceed against Mr Andreotti. 'The whole construction (put together by the Palermo magistrates) has the appearance of a theorem in which the guilt of Senator Andreotti appears the point of departure . . . and not the point of arrival.'

Their request could not be met 'because it is not based on facts and circumstances which took place, or have been proved, but which have simply been spoken of' and because the allegations 'have not the slightest logical connection with what is described and imagined in the accusation . . .

'The arguments . . . to support the accusation are contradictory and completely unreasonable, in that rumours or information said to have circulated among Mafia circles or indeed in prisons are presented as proof . . . The methodology of the investigation appears clearly distorted by a preconceived theory, inspired by the anxiety to obtain from those interrogated confirmation of the prejudice that Senator Andreotti collaborated 'not occasionally' to protect the interests of Cosa Nostra at a national level.'

The defence accused the magistrates of having an 'intent to persecute' Mr Andreotti by distributing large numbers of copies of the allegations to the press and television. 'Never has the dignity and reserve of jurisdiction been so openly trampled on. The result is clear: to make any calm and balanced judgement appear reactionary or, worse, mafioso.'

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

E-Commerce Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice