• Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

Montante’s return to the courtroom: “Trust in the judiciary”

Byeditorial

Dec 3, 2021

(from the correspondent Elvira Terranova) – He arrives on time, shortly after 10.15 am surrounded by his lawyers, the lawyers Giuseppe Panepinto and Carlo Taormina. This time without a briefcase in tow, crammed with documents. It seems confused, Antonello Montante, the former powerful leader of the industrialists in Sicily, on trial on appeal for corruption, after being sentenced to 14 years in prison. A hearing postponed from week to week, from early September, due to the accused’s health problems. “I’m better, but still not very well …”, he merely says to the Adnkronos before entering the bunker room of the Malaspina prison in Caltanissetta. Then, upon leaving the bunker, when asked what he expects from the trial, he adds: “I will have full confidence in the judiciary until the end …”, before returning to Asti where he is obliged to stay. During the cross-examination, conducted by the lawyer Giuseppe Dacquì, lawyer of Colonel Gianfranco Ardizzone, former provincial commander of the Guardia di Finanza of Caltanissetta, Montante repeated several times that “he had never helped Colonel Ardizzone in any way”, while according to the ‘accusation there would have been an exchange of “favors between Ardizzone and Montante”, between hiring family members and favors in the control of the yellow flames. “Colonel Ardizzone of the Guardia di Finanza never asked me to hire his daughter at Cofidi, I only learned about it after she was hired”, explains Montante. In the first degree trial, Colonel Ardizzone, speaking of the hiring of his daughter to Cofidi, had said that the spouse “was hired by Cofidi for personal skills”. The colonel then claimed “absolute good faith” in his relations with Antonello Montante, the former regional councilor Marco Venturi, who in the meantime has become Montante’s greatest accuser, and the entrepreneur Massimo Romano: “For me they were gods gentlemen “. Ardizzone then explained how Montante was considered “a decent person” even by his superiors. It was necessary to stay close to “these entrepreneurs” and “foster this climate of legality”. ‘Never asked for money from Venturi to give to Major Orfanello’ Montante then repeatedly denied what was said in recent days, in the ordinary trial on the ‘Rising System’, by Venturi. “I never asked Venturi for money to give to Major Orfanello of the Guardia di Finanza, after the control of his company by the Fiamme Gialle. While Venturi said: ” In my company an audit was carried out by the coordinated Guardia di Finanza from Major Orfanello. The check was closed regularly, since no irregularities had been found. A few months later I was walking in the center of Caltanissetta with Antonello Montante, and he told me that the entrepreneur from Gela, Carmelo Turco, had also undergone a inspection by the Guardia di Finanza, and had paid sums of money to the Orfanello so that he would ‘turn a blind eye’ to some irregularities that had been found during the inspection. At that point Montante pointed out to me that I would have to pay the sum of 2,500 euros to Major Orfanello, letting me understand that even in my case an eye had been turned away thanks to his relations with Orfanello, but I refused, to also because during the inspection no anomaly was found in relation to my company. All this provoked a strong disappointment on Montante who then dropped the subject ”. But today the former President of the Industrialists denied this episode, saying that it was “beyond all logic”. After a brief Council Chamber, it was the President of the Court of Appeal Andreina Occhipinti who asked the accused some questions. So we went back to talking about unauthorized access to the SDI computer system, the one in use by the police. “I was not the author of unauthorized accesses to the computer system nor did I ever arrange them – explained Montante – I don’t know who made them do it but what I noticed is that precisely in correspondence with those accesses the various complaints were made by by Alfonso Cicero (the former friend and now a civil party in the trial and one of his biggest accusers ed). Once in Di Vincenzo, then in Iacuzzo, Crisafulli, etc. There was just a temporal correlation “. When asked if it was Cicero who made the unauthorized access, he replies: “Someone did it too Cicero.” Adnkronos: “I took office at Irsap at a later date than the unauthorized accesses mentioned by Montante, so first of all he told lies, and it is proven with the documents. I will integrate the complaint against him, as a continued crime. “And then he explains:” Already last September I presented a substantial complaint to the judicial authority for slander and defamation against Antonio Calogero Montante and his companion Diego Disimone Perricone, for the shameless offenses and the blatant falsehoods spread to my detriment in the hearings held in recent months before the Caltanissetta court of appeal. Even today, Montante reiterated, as usual, during the hearing held before the Caltanissetta Court of Appeal, the same slanders and falsehoods to my detriment that will be the subject of a further complaint to the judicial authority “. Also the lawyer”. di Cicero, Annalisa Petitto, intervenes on today’s hearing and explains: “Montante on illegal access to the SSI defends himself by accusing my client Alfonso Cicero, former President of Irsap, of a crime that the DDA has accused him of and for which a sentence has already condemned him. The official documents of which I requested the production today before the Court of Appeal of Caltanissetta, defeat Montante’s thesis and demonstrate the slander of his assumptions. My client, the offended party and the civil party in the trial against Montante and others, who himself underwent access to the SDI in 2009, has already proceeded, in September, to refer Montante for slander to the judicial authorities ” The cross-examination ends and the President of the Court of Appeal Occhipinti also announces the calendar for the next hearings. The reservations will be dissolved on December 18, while the indictment will begin on January 14 and continue the following day. Then it will be the turn of the civil parties and to the defenses. The last to speak will be the defense of Antonello Montante, at the beginning of February. Before leaving the bunker room of the Malaspina prison in Caltanissetta, Montante pauses briefly with the press but says only a few words: “In the next hearing I will be more precise, also out of respect for the Court of Appeal. “But one thing is keen to say. In the ordinary trial, Marco Venturi, a former great friend of Montante, said he was” afraid “of Montante, and former head of industrialists replied sardonically: “Ah yes, he was afraid of me? Strange, because from 1996 to 2015 (when relations broke off ed) he was not afraid … maybe he was afraid later. Ask him… “Next hearing on December 18th.

One thought on “Montante’s return to the courtroom: “Trust in the judiciary””
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