We'll scorch the Mafia's earth -says Conte on Falcone anniversary

Cosa Nostra killed anti-mafia magistrate 27 years ago.

(ANSA) - Palermo, May 23 - Premier Giuseppe Conte said his government was determined to defeat organized crime as he took part in a ceremony to mark the 27th anniversary of the Capaci bomb attack in which the anti-mafia prosecutor Giovanni Falcone was assassinated along three bodyguards and his wife. "Our aim is clear - to scorch the earth of the Mafia," Conte told the ceremony at the bunker court in Palermo's Ucciardone prison, where the big maxi-trial against Cosa Nostra members took place in the 1980s and 1990s. Falcone's friend and colleague Paolo Borsellino was killed two months later by another huge Cosa Nostra bomb. In a message, President Sergio Mattarella said Falcone's sacrifice "became the engine of the resurgence of our civilization, which gave strength to the effort to combat (the Mafia) and make citizens' duty to do their part to drain the swamps in which the Mafia live even more pressing". Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini also took part in the Ucciardone ceremony. Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando did not attend that event.