| 21 June 2021, Monday | النسخة العربية

Sicilian mafia ‘people-slayer’ released after 25 years in jail

Sicilian Mafia turnover Giovanni Brusca was released after serving a 25-year sentence, causing grief and anger among the relatives of those he killed, who detonated the bomb that killed judge Giovanni Falcone in 1992.

In 1996, four years after the Falcone murdering attack, Brusca, 64, was arrested. He supported prosecutors in their repression of Cosa Nostra clans after turning state turncoat.

One of the most famous episodes of Italy’s lengthy and violent fight against organized crime was the killing of Falcone, followed two months later by the killing of fellow anti-mafia magistrate Paolo Borsellino.
Brusca, known as the ‘people-slayer’, has confessed his role in over 100 murders, including the death of a 14-year-old boy, Giuseppe Di Matteo, who was killed and dissolved in acid because he was the son of a mafia informant.

“He has collaborated with justice only to get the benefits, it was not a personal, intimate choice,” Rosaria Costa, the widow of a policeman who died in the Falcone bombing, told daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Maria Falcone, the sister of the judge, said she was “saddened” by the news but that the law gave Brusca the right to leave prison.

Brusca supplied investigators with information on several deadly Cosa Nostra attacks carried out in the 1980s and 1990s and testified in a trial over alleged negotiations between Italian officials and mobsters to stop the bombings.

Brusca — who had already been granted temporary leave from prison on several occasions — will be on parole for four years, Italian media reported.

“Regardless of what one may think of the atrocities he committed at the time, there was a collaboration… Let us not forget that he gave information on bombings both in Sicily and in mainland Italy”, chief anti-mafia prosecutor, Federico Cafiero De Raho, told Reuters.

“Clearly, the judges believed this was the appropriate jail term,” he added.

Several Italian politicians condemned Brusca’s release.

“This is not the ‘justice’ that Italians deserve,” said Matteo Salvini, head of the right-wing League which leads in opinion polls.