Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018

State-Mafia hearings postponed in Palermo until mid-November


Palermo, October 29 - Highly anticipated hearings
into alleged negotiations between Italian State officials and
the Mafia were adjourned Monday until mid-November.
Preliminary hearings for 12 defendants, which will be held
behind closed doors despite strong public interest, were
postponed to November 15 to deal with several procedural
requests including a defence demand for time to review new
documents filed by the prosecution.
The complex case stems from an investigation by Antonio
Ingroia, a deputy chief prosecutor in Palermo, into suspicions
that high-ranking politicians and police negotiated with Cosa
Nostra to try to stop a series of bomb attacks that claimed the
lives of anti-mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino
in 1992.
Charges against Mafia chieftains range from violence or
threats to the political body of the State to mafia association.
Ingroia, who leaves soon for a United Nations assignment
in Guatemala, expressed strong feelings as he entered the
courtroom Monday morning.
"I feel a great emotion: this may be my last hearing as a
prosecutor in Palermo".
Ingroia added that he would continue to follow the case,
which he said will open the truth into what has been "one of the
darkest episodes of recent history," for Italy.
Salvatore Borsellino, brother of murdered magistrate Paolo
Borsellino, said he was confident that the hearings will
eventually uncover the full story of what went on during this
"I believe that together we will be able to...arrive at the
truth", he said outside the hearings.
Among the 12 defendants are former politicians, including
former Senate speaker and interior minister Nicola Mancino;
former cabinet minister Calogero Mannino; Massimo Ciancimino,
the son of late Mafia-linked Palermo mayor Vito Ciancimino; and
Mafia bosses Toto' Riina, Giovanni Brusca, Nino Cina, Leoluca
Bagarella and Bernardo Provenzano.
As well, top current or former police officers Mario Mori,
Giuseppe De Donno and Antonio Subranni, and Senator and former
Berlusconi aide Marcello Dell'Utri are all defendants.
The probe recently drew the intervention of President
Giorgio Napolitano over concerns that Palermo prosecutors had
surpassed their powers by wiretapping conversations between the
head of state's legal advisor and former Senate speaker Mancino.
The prosecutors had allegedly failed to comply with the
legal obligation to immediately destroy the recordings.

photo: Falcone (left) and Borsellino

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