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Justice minister confirms tough prison regime for Provenzano

Former Mafia boss still considered a risk despite failing health

27 March, 12:16
Justice minister confirms tough prison regime for Provenzano (ANSA) - Palermo, March 27 - Justice Minister Andrea Orlando on Thursday confirmed the tough prison regime for former Mafia boss of bosses Bernardo Provenzano for a further two years despite calls to the contrary due to the convict's failing mental and physical health. Prosecutors in Palermo, Caltanissetta and Florence all opposed an extension of the strict provisions for confinement set out under a law known as 41-bis on the grounds that Provenzano, who turned 81 on January 31 and is suffering from Parkinson's and related disorders, is no longer a risk. The national antimafia department however disagreed. Arrested in 2006 after 43 years on the run, Provenzano has been subjected to the 41-bis treatment for Italy's most dangerous criminals ever since.

They can be kept in single-person cells in maximum-security jails, almost entirely cut off from the outside world in order to prevent further criminal activity.

The ex-mafia chieftain, once nicknamed 'The Bulldozer' because of the way he "mowed down" rivals, is serving life for various murders including ordering fatal bomb attacks on anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992.

In January Provenzano made an unsuccessful appeal to then justice minister Anna Maria Cancellieri to be let off 41-bis because of ill health.

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