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Falcone, 30 years after the Capaci massacre shady areas and mysteries

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It is the afternoon of May 23, 1992, the weather is cloudy. The Falcon 50 hired by Sisde has just left Rome Ciampino. On board are Giovanni Falcone and Francesca Morvillo. The aircraft lands at Palermo ‘Punta Raisi’ airport. It is 5.43 pm. Three armored cars are waiting under the Falcon for the magistrate’s arrival with his wife. To welcome him, the head escort, Antonio Montinaro. Giuseppe Costanza, Falcone’s driver, greets him and takes the bags with the trolley and places them in the trunk of the Fiat Croma. He is about to sit in the driver’s seat, but Falcone asks him to get behind him, because he wants to drive the armored car. So Costanza gets into the back seat, in front of us are Falcone at the wheel and Francesca Morvillo on the passenger side. The parade of armored cars sets off to reach Palermo. But at 5.58pm, at the Capaci junction, all hell breaks out. Five quintals of TNT in a drainage channel blow up a stretch of highway that leads from Punta Raisi to Palermo. The judge with his wife and three escort officers are stuck in the armored cars. On the brown Croma, who leads the procession, there are Vito Schifani with Rocco Dicillo and the foreman Antonio Montinaro. Immediately after there is the white Croma driven by Falcone, with the Cotanza driver sitting in the back. Behind the car is the blue Croma driven by Gaspare Cervello, with Paolo Capuzza and Angelo Corbo. The last four officers are injured, but alive. The injured will be a total of 23. Exactly thirty years have passed since that massacre, but the obscure points, the mysteries, despite the numerous sentences, are still many. The question is always and only one: was it only Cosa Nostra that wanted the death of the most famous judge in Italy and overseas too? The magistrate who started, for the first time, an intense and fruitful collaboration with the FBI in the United States. As confirmed this morning, at the ceremony held at the Foro Italico, Luois Freeh, former director of the FBI who reiterated that Falcone was an inspiration for the American feds. The operational level of the massacre ended at the stand. The first trial ended in Caltanissetta on September 26, 1997 with 24 life sentences and lesser sentences for five collaborators, namely Salvatore Cancemi, Mario Santo Di Matteo, Calogero Ganci, Gioacchino La Barbera, Giovan Battista Ferrante. Five other life sentences were added on appeal. But after two cancellations, the Supreme Court finalized the judgments confirming the responsibility of Totò Riina, Bernardo Provenzano, Francesco and Giuseppe Madonia, Pippo Calò, Pietro Aglieri and the other members of the Gotha of Cosa Nostra. But was it just the mafia? Or were the principals others? To these questions, after 30 years we are still unable to give an answer. The mysteries are many. Three of the material executors, who in the meantime have decided to take the plunge by starting to collaborate with justice, namely Giovanni Brusca, Gioacchino La Barbera and Santino Di Matteo, have always said that there were no external presences in the mafia commando. But the doubts are many. The collaborator Gioacchino La Barbera during an investigative interview with the magistrates said: “While we were putting aside the explosives for the attack in Falcone, in a villa in Capaci, I noticed a person I had never seen . He arrived with Antonino Troia, the boss of Capaci, he also spoke with Raffaele Ganci, the boss of La Noce. I have never seen that person again. ” Who was he talking about? There is one certainty, and it is unequivocal: It was the mafia that blew up the TNT under the highway that then killed Falcone, his wife and the three escort agents. But were there external complicities, cover-ups? We need to back up and remember what the Caltanissetta Court of Assizes writes in the reasons for the ‘Capaci bis’ trial, which saw five defendants at the stand: Salvatore “Salvino” Madonia, Vittorio Tutino, Giorgio Pizzo, Cosimo Lo Nigro and Lorenzo Tinnirello. All sentenced to life imprisonment. The only acquittal is that of Vittorio Tutino. Sentences confirmed on appeal. According to the prosecution, the defendants played a fundamental role both in the organizational phase of the attack and in finding the explosives placed on the highway on May 23, 1992. The judges speak of the “delegitimization campaign” against Judge Falcone: “The basis of this delegitimization campaign – writes the Court was the awareness of the danger that Giovanni Falcone’s activity represented not only for Cosa Nostra, but also for a multiplicity of economic-political environments accustomed to establishing mutually beneficial relationships. with the criminal organization, starting from the sector of public procurement and supplies “. During the appeal process, a new collaborator of justice was heard, Pietro Riggio, a former prison police officer, who brought up a former police colleague Giovanni Peluso. According to Riggio to operate the remote control for the Capaci massacre it would not have been Giovanni Brusca but subjects “external to Cosa Nostra”. And he would have learned it from Peluso, who categorically denies any involvement. “Are you sure it was Brusca who pressed the remote control of the massacre?” – Peluso would have asked him during a conversation in prison – and I deduced that he had not pressed Brusca, I felt freezing because it was a truth that was known, that is, that it was Brusca and the mafia. they were other people who had been interested in this situation. I realized that I was in danger and that I was playing a game bigger than me. ” Then he added: “These are deductions that I made after what Peluso told me”. Along this line, that of the possible collaboration of subjects external to the Cosa Nostra in the massacre that took the life of judge Giovanni Falcone, his wife Francesca Morvillo and the escort officers, the collaborator of justice reported the involvement of a “woman, about 35 -40 years old, belonging to the Libyan secret services “.” I remember that Peluso was accompanied with a woman – he added – he told me that he was a person close to the Libyan secret services “and he recalled having learned that Peluso’s partner” belonged to the Libyan services “as well as” the mother-in-law who served at the Libyan embassy “. “There was a connection of truthfulness in what he told me”, the repentant claimed in court. After the appeal sentence, the Attorney General of Caltanissetta at the time, Lia Sava, who is now head of the Prosecutor General of Palermo said: “The investigations continue, the institutions could provide clarifications.” “We have said several times both during this indictment and during the previous one, the investigations into the massacres do not stop and therefore both the Caltanissetta prosecutor, the district anti-mafia management , under the coordination of the National Anti-Mafia Directorate, continue to investigate. It is clear that the trials then arrive when the evidence matures that can allow the prosecution to be supported in court. We always hope that there will be some new collaborative contribution both within the mafia organization and I am referring to the big guns of Cosa Nostra at 41 bis, or to some exponent of the institutions of that time who could decide to give some further clarification “. “After all these years – Sava said – we hope that a whole series of elements can be tied together and the necessary steps can be taken to try to unravel what may be – and still are – the gray areas”. 30 years are still many, therefore, the ‘gray areas’. (By Elvira Terranova)

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