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Mobster informant says 1990s bombings stopped when Mafia won

'Cosa Nostra got what it wanted in State-Mafia talks'

14 March, 16:14
Mobster informant says 1990s bombings stopped when Mafia won (ANSA) - Rome, March 14 - Mafia bombings in the 1990s ended because the Sicilian crime syndicate had obtained all it wanted in secret talks with the State, mobster-turned-informant Gaspare Spatuzza testified Friday at an ongoing trial into the alleged negotiations.

After a failed carbomb attack in 1994 at Rome's Stadio Olimpico targeting Carabinieri police, "the slaughters ended because we had closed everything," Spatuzza said on Friday.

The Mafia turncoat was referring to claims made by boss Giuseppe Graviano, who reportedly told him in 1994 that Cosa Nostra had obtained all it wanted in the talks "thanks to serious people who had moved things forward," referring to three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi and former Senator Marcello Dell'Utri.

Dell'Utri is appealing to the supreme Court of Cassation a seven-year sentence imposed last March by a Palermo court that convicted him of Mafia association.

Cosa Nostra carbomb attacks in the early 1990s that claimed the lives, among others, of anti-Mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992 allegedly led the State to enter into secret talks with the Mafia.

Testifying at the trial from a jail in Rome, Spatuzza, a former aide of Graviano, said on Thursday that his boss had told him Berlusconi and Dell'Utri had "put the country in the hands" of the Mafia. "He said: I told you that things would turn out all right" before mentioning Berlusconi, and adding "that our 'paesano' (fellow Sicilian) Dell'Ultri was also involved, and thanks to them we had the country in our hands," Spatuzza said.

Dell'Utri allegedly forged "a pact of protection" with Cosa Nostra for Berlusconi at a meeting in May 1974, reportedly linking the ex-premier and the crime syndicate through the former chief of the media magnate's advertising arm.

Dell'Utri is credited with setting up in 1993 the organization of the three-time premier's center-right party Forza Italia six months before it swept to victory in general elections.