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'State must not give in to Mafia threats' says Di Matteo

Anti-Mafia prosecutor's interview on Beppe Grillo's blog

07 April, 17:42
'State must not give in to Mafia threats' says Di Matteo (ANSA) - Rome, April 7 - In an interview on the blog of anti-establishment 5-Star Movement leader Beppe Grillo titled 'No Country for Honest Men', anti-Mafia prosecutor Nino Di Matteo said Monday the State must not give in to pressure from jailed mobsters.

He was referring to the fact that an ongoing Palermo trial into alleged secret negotiations between the Italian State and the Mafia two decades ago might be moved to another jurisdiction after former Cosa Nostra Mafia "boss of bosses" Toto' Riina shouted for the death of Di Matteo from his prison cell. Riina, known as The Beast, is in a maximum-security prison in Milan for crimes including ordering the 1992 car-bomb slayings of anti-Mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

Italy's supreme Cassation Court is expected to rule April 18 on whether to move the trial, which would mean starting the entire proceedings over from scratch.

"Giving in to this pressure would be tantamount to sanctioning a devastating principle, which is that a defendant's threat of violence against prosecutors can actually cause the proceedings to be transferred out of their original jurisdiction", Di Matteo was quoted as saying.