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
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
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
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Latest stories from i100
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine