Montante: “Our Code of Ethics was not executional, we wanted to save the country”

“Our problem was to make entrepreneurs understand the convenience of denouncing” their extortionists “because they were afraid of losing subsequent contracts”. “We broke the mechanism and overturned what had happened with the entrepreneur Libero Grassi in Palermo”. It is one of the passages of the long interrogation carried out in recent days, in various hearings, by Antonello Montante, the former President of the Sicilian industrialists accused of criminal association aimed at corruption in the Caltanissetta appeal process. The hearings are behind closed doors because the second degree trial is held with an abbreviated rite, closed to the public and the press. The Adnkronos is now in possession of the minutes with the statements made in the courtroom by Montante, who in the first instance was sentenced to 14 years in prison. “Ours was not an ethical code of justice, but we decided to save the country”, says Montante, because “at the time Confindustria isolated Libero Grassi”, the businessman killed by Cosa Nostra on 29 August 1991 for having publicly denounced his mafia extortionists. “Instead, when we had news we called the entrepreneur and convinced him to report, I called them myself – says Montante, answering the questions of his lawyers, the lawyers Carlo Taormina and Giuseppe Panepinto.” Then we accompanied the entrepreneurs “, he says. Then turning to to the President of the Court of Appeal, Andreina Occhipinti, adds: “President, everything I say is documented”. ‘The first constitution of a civil party in 2005 in Gela’ Then Montante recalls the first constitution of a civil party in a mafia trial in Gela. “Starting from 2005 – he says – Confindustria Sicilia decided to become a civil party for the first time in a mafia trial. It was the first time ever. Colleagues from Gela were invited to expose themselves. It was important because it was a message, choices had to be made. Whether to stay with the state or with criminal organizations. So the lawyer Galasso was appointed “.” In the same board of Confindustria, the constitution of a civil party of Confindustria was also approved in all the trials involving the mafia “, he recalls. And then he talks about the” complaint of the Caltanissetta prosecutor ” , urged by his defender Panepinto, because there were associates who “on the one hand constituted a civil party and others who paid the protection money.” “There are all the internal documents – he says – which confirm these controversies.” former Sicilian regional councilor, Linda Vancheri, his former collaborator, explains: “It was never my secretariat. She was an unknown but was reported by the Prefect of Caltanissetta at the time, she was an interpreter at the reception center. She was hired in 2005 as head of the internationalization of the Confindustria system, not only locally but also nationally. She was also in charge of ‘Più school, less mafia’ with Pietro Grasso’s wife who worked at Miur. And she was also responsible for overseeing the legality protocols. This even before becoming the councilor “of the former President Rosario Crocetta.” He had to watch over everything that was written – he says – to avoid gross errors, for example on what Marco Venturi wrote “, the latter today one of the Montante’s major accusers. ‘In those years I received many threats and damages’Antonello Montante then reiterates: “I never called Alfonso Cicero”, the former President of Irsap who appeared as a civil party in the trial and today the accuser of Montante “to ask him not to become a civil party.” “It was he who sent me messages but I never sent him.” Speaking of the draft law to reform the Asi consortia, he explains: “In 2011 the law did not have to approve it, the council regional Lombard, but all the deputies, that is the Ars. The law was then rejected. But later, three months later, it was approved because Confindustria insisted on explaining the importance. “At the end of 2011, the Ars approved a bill that suppressed the old industrial development consortia and constituted the regional institute for the development of activities. productive, then chaired by Alfonso Cicero. Antonello Montante then tells about the threats received. “At the ASI I had very heavy damage, but also special tickets, with written threats, even on my daughter. There the young entrepreneurs asked for elections, but Confindustria Caltanissetta did not want to call the elections “. He also remembers the speech of the former Head of State Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, in November 2004, at the Prefecture of Caltanissetta.” On that occasion Ciampi spoke of a ‘pact between companies and trade unions’, this pact “was acknowledged by the Prefect of Caltanissetta”, says Montante.

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