How Top Mafia Boss Messina Denaro Escaped Justice for 30 Years

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Last Updated: January 18, 2023, 22:03 IST

A screengrab taken from a video shows Matteo Messina Denaro the country's most wanted mafia boss being escorted out of a Carabinieri police station after he was arrested in Palermo, Italy, January 16, 2023. Carabinieri/Handout via REUTERS

A screengrab taken from a video exhibits Matteo Messina Denaro the nation’s most needed mafia boss being escorted out of a Carabinieri police station after he was arrested in Palermo, Italy, January 16, 2023. Carabinieri/Handout by way of REUTERS

Messina Denaro was the final godfather, stated Anna Sergi, an knowledgeable in organised crime at England’s Essex University including he represented all of the secrets and techniques of Cosa Nostra

Matteo Messina Denaro, a brutal Sicilian Mafia boss who was Italy’s most needed prison earlier than his seize on Monday, had been on the run for 30 years. Here are some key details about his arrest and what it means:

WHY IS THE ARREST SO IMPORTANT?

Messina Denaro, 60, was the final runaway member of a technology of mobsters who masterminded a string of bombings and murders that terrorised Italy within the early 1990s.

His arrest lastly brings closure to that darkish period, shatters a logo of resistance to the Italian state and will reveal Mafia secrets and techniques within the unlikely occasion that Messina Denaro agrees to speak to investigators.

He was concerned in dozens of killings, together with of high prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino and the adolescent son of a Mafia turncoat whose physique was dissolved in acid.

HOW DID MESSINA DENARO AVOID ARREST FOR SO LONG?

Nobody is aware of for certain, however there have lengthy been suspicions that Messina Denaro had his again coated by politicians and different institution connections. A retired prosecutor who chased him for years blames unspecified freemasonry circles.

”I’ve at all times believed a Masonic community protected him all around the world,” Teresa Principato informed La Repubblica newspaper, saying she had discovered proof that he frolicked in Spain, Venezuela and Britain, in addition to Sicily.

Crime author Roberto Saviano has identified {that a} former junior justice minister, Antonio D’Ali, has been convicted for collusion with the Messina Denaro household. He served beneath former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in 2001-2006.

Messina Denaro was ultimately caught outdoors a clinic in Palermo after police found he was sick with most cancers.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE SICILIAN MAFIA?

Experts describe Sicily’s Cosa Nostra, its fame amplified by films resembling ”The Godfather”, as an ailing crime group going through a number of difficulties together with competitors within the extremely profitable medicine market.

”Messina Denaro was the final godfather, he represented all of the secrets and techniques of Cosa Nostra. It is the top of a delusion and the organisation must address this,” stated Anna Sergi, an knowledgeable in organised crime at England’s Essex University.

Although Cosa Nostra retains management of its Sicilian bedrock and a capability to infiltrate the broader economic system, it has been supplanted within the medicine commerce by the Calabrian ’Ndrangheta.

Alfonso Sabella, a former anti-Mafia Justice of the Peace, stated Cosa Nostra is now solely Italy’s third-largest prison group, behind the ’Ndrangheta and the mob centred across the metropolis of Foggia within the south-east.

WHO IS NOW THE BOSS OF BOSSES?

Messina Denaro held sway in his dwelling province of Trapani in western Sicily, however Palermo Chief Prosecutor Maurizio de Lucia stated he by no means grew to become the ”sole” chief of Cosa Nostra.

Part of the explanation, de Lucia defined, is that beneath Mafia custom the so-called ”boss of bosses” place is just for mobsters from the realm across the Sicilian capital Palermo.

Previous supremos have been Salvatore ”Toto” Riina and Bernardo Provenzano, who spent a long time on the run earlier than their arrest. Both males died in jail, Riina in 2017 and Provenzano a yr earlier.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR MESSINA DENARO?

The mobster was flown to a high-security jail in central Italy to be subjected to the robust ”41 bis” regime beneath which prisoners are held alone in small cells, with video surveillance in operation always.

From jail, Messina Denaro will proceed to obtain most cancers remedy and may be known as to testify in different Mafia trials or speak to prosecutors, within the unlikely case he breaks Cosa Nostra’s ”omerta,” or code of silence.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 employees and is revealed from a syndicated information company feed)



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