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Paolo Borsellino
Paolo Borsellino
(Italian: [ˈpaːolo borselˈliːno]; January 19, 1940 – July 19, 1992) was an Italian judge and prosecuting magistrate. He was killed by a Mafia car bomb in Palermo, 57 days after his friend and fellow Antimafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone
Giovanni Falcone
was assassinated in Capaci. He is considered to be one of the most important magistrates killed by the Sicilian Mafia
Sicilian Mafia
and he is remembered as one of the main symbols of the battle of the State against the Mafia. Both Borsellino and Falcone were named as heroes of the last 60 years in the November 13, 2006, issue of Time Magazine.[1] Forty-seven people were convicted in connection with his murder, but the entire case was discredited by the revelations of Gaspare Spatuzza.

Contents

1 Early life 2 First Mafia investigations 3 Antimafia Pool 4 Last months 5 Murder

5.1 Investigation

6 Case re-opened 7 Legacy 8 See also 9 References 10 Bibliography 11 Further reading 12 External links

Early life[edit] Borsellino was born in a middle-class Palermo
Palermo
neighbourhood, Kalsa, a neighborhood of central Palermo
Palermo
which suffered extensive destruction by aerial attacks during the Allied invasion of Sicily
Sicily
in 1943.[2] His father was a pharmacist and his mother ran a pharmacy in the Via della Vetriera, next to the house were Paolo was born. As boys Borsellino and Falcone – who was born in the same neighbourhood – played soccer together on the Piazza Magione. The Mafia was present in the area but quiescent. Both had classmates who ended up as mafiosi.[2][3][4] The house where he was born was declared unsafe and the family was forced to move out in 1956. The pharmacy remained, while the neighbourhood around it crumbled.[2] Borsellino and Falcone met again at Palermo
Palermo
University. While Borsellino tended towards the right and became a member of the Fronte Universitario d'Azione Nazionale (FUAN), a right-wing university organization affiliated with the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement,[4] Falcone drifted away from his parents' middle-class conservative Catholicism towards Communism. Both never joined a political party, however, and although the ideologies of those political movements were diametrically opposed, they paradoxically shared a history of opposing the Mafia. Their different political leanings did not thwart their friendship. Both decided to join the magistrature.[2] Borsellino obtained a degree in law at the University of Palermo, with honours, in 1962. After his father's death, he passed the judiciary exam in 1963. During those years, he worked in many cities in Sicily ( Enna
Enna
in 1965, Mazara del Vallo
Mazara del Vallo
in 1967, Monreale
Monreale
in 1969). After he married in 1968, he transferred to his native Palermo
Palermo
in 1975 together with Rocco Chinnici, where he got involved in investigation into Sicilian Mafia. First Mafia investigations[edit] Neither Borsellino nor Falcone had intended to get involved in the struggle against the Mafia. They were assigned cases involving the Mafia that continued to expand and became disturbed by what they discovered. They saw colleagues murdered fighting the Mafia and it became increasingly impossible to turn back.[5] One of his accomplishments included the arrest of six Mafia members in 1980, including Leoluca Bagarella, the brother-in-law of Mafia boss Salvatore Riina. His close co-investigator, Carabinieri
Carabinieri
captain Emanuele Basile, was murdered by the Mafia the same year. Borsellino was assigned to investigate the murder and became a special target when he signed the arrest warrant for Francesco Madonia on a charge of ordering the murder of Basile.[6][7] He was assigned police protection.[8] Antimafia Pool[edit]

Giovanni Falcone
Giovanni Falcone
and Paolo Borsellino. The picture of both assassinated judges became an iconic symbol of the struggle against Cosa Nostra. It is often used on posters and articles commemorating the fight against the Mafia.

Sheets exposed in solidarity with Giovanni Falcone
Giovanni Falcone
and Paolo Borsellino. They read: "You did not kill them: their ideas walk on our legs".

Main article: Antimafia Pool During those years, working together with magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Rocco Chinnici, Borsellino continued his research about the Mafia and its links to political and economical powers in Sicily
Sicily
and Italy. He became part of Palermo's Antimafia Pool, created by Chinnici. The Antimafia pool was a group of investigating magistrates who closely worked together sharing information to diffuse responsibility and to prevent one person from becoming the sole institutional memory and solitary target. The group consisted of Falcone, Borsellino, Giuseppe Di Lello and Leonardo Guarnotta.[3] In 1983, Rocco Chinnici
Rocco Chinnici
was killed by a bomb in his car. His place in the Antimafia Pool was taken by Antonino Caponnetto. The group pooled together several investigations into the Mafia, which would result in the Maxi Trial
Maxi Trial
against the Mafia starting in February 1986 and which lasted until December 1987.[3] A total of 475 mafiosi were indicted for a multitude of crimes relating to Mafia activities. Most were convicted and, to the surprise of many, the convictions were upheld several years later in January 1992, after the final stage of appeal. The importance of the trial was that the existence of Cosa Nostra
Cosa Nostra
was finally judicially confirmed.[3] In 1986, Borsellino became head of the Public Prosecution Office of Marsala, continuing his personal campaign against the Mafia bosses, in the most populated city of the province of Trapani. His links with Giovanni Falcone, who remained in Palermo, allowed him to cover the entire Western Sicily
Sicily
for investigations. In 1987, after Caponnetto resigned due to illness, Borsellino was protagonist of a great protest about the unsuccessful nomination of his friend Giovanni Falcone
Giovanni Falcone
as head of the Antimafia Pool. Last months[edit] On 23 May 1992, Falcone, his wife and three bodyguards were killed by a bomb planted under the highway outside of Palermo. Giovanni Brusca later claimed that 'boss of bosses' Salvatore Riina
Salvatore Riina
had told him that after the assassination of Falcone, there were indirect negotiations with the government. Former interior minister Nicola Mancino
Nicola Mancino
later said this was not true.[9] In July 2012, Mancino was ordered to stand trial on charges of withholding evidence on 1992 talks between the Italian state and the Mafia and the killings of Falcone and Borsellino.[10] Some prosecutors have theorized that Borsellino was killed because he had found out about the negotiations.[11] Borsellino failed to get himself appointed to the investigation into Falcone's murder. At a public meeting on 25 June 1992, he said that he had certain information which might explain why Falcone was killed. Borsellino unofficially asked Carabinieri
Carabinieri
Colonel Mario Mori to resume a previous investigation by Falcone into Mafia control of public works contracts. However, Mori, unbeknownst to Borsellino, was involved in secret meetings with Vito Ciancimino, who was close to Riina's lieutenant Bernardo Provenzano. Mori was later investigated on suspicion of posing a danger to the state after it was alleged he prevented the arrest of Provenzano and had taken a list of Riina's demands that Ciancimino had passed on. He maintained he had spoken to Ciancimino to further investigation of the Mafia, that Ciancimino had disclosed little beyond implicitly admitting he knew Mafia members, and that key meetings were after Borsellino's death.[12] In 2014 Italy’s president, Giorgio Napolitano, testified in a trial in which 10 defendants including the former interior minister, Nicola Mancino, were accused of negotiating with the Mafia[13] On 17 July 1992 Borsellino went to Rome where he was told by Gaspare Mutolo, a Mafia member turned informer, of two allegedly corrupt officials: Bruno Contrada, former head of Palermo
Palermo
Flying Squad, now working for the secret service (SISDE), and anti-Mafia prosecutor Domeninco Signorino. Borsellino considered Signorino a friend and was deeply troubled by the allegation. He was further disconcerted when the meeting was interrupted by a call from the Minister of the Interior, Nicola Mancino, requesting his immediate presence. Borsellino attended to discover that Contrada was there, and knew about the supposedly secret meeting with the informer.[14] Murder[edit] Main article: Via D'Amelio bombing On 19 July 1992, Borsellino was killed by a car bomb in Via D'Amelio, near his mother's house in Palermo, less than two months after the death of his good friend Falcone. The bomb attack also claimed the lives of five policemen: Agostino Catalano, Walter Cosina, Emanuela Loi (the first Italian policewoman to be killed in the line of duty), Vincenzo Li Muli and Claudio Traina.[15] In his last video interview, given on 21 May 1992 to Jean Pierre Moscardo and Fabrizio Calvi, Borsellino spoke about the possible link between Cosa Nostra's mafiosi and rich Italian businessmen such as future Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.[16] The interview received little coverage on Italian television (half of which was owned by Berlusconi, who also controlled the state channel during his mandates as prime minister); as of 2007, it has been aired on only one occasion, and that by a satellite channel RaiNews 24
RaiNews 24
in 2000, in an abridged version which is a mere 30 minutes long (it is 50 minutes long in its original form). Investigation[edit] Palermo
Palermo
police accused Vincenzo Scarantino, a petty offender, of orchestrating the Massacre of Via D'Amelio
Massacre of Via D'Amelio
while acting on the orders of Salvatore Riina. Riina, head of the Corleonesi
Corleonesi
Mafia Family and effective leader of Cosa Nostra
Cosa Nostra
at the time, served a life sentence in prison for sanctioning the murders of Borsellino and Falcone, along with Bernardo Provenzano, Pippo Calò, Salvatore Biondino, Pietro Aglieri, Michelangelo La Barbera, Raffaele and Domenico Ganci, Francesco Madonia, Giuseppe Montalto, Giuseppe and Filippo Graviano, Carlo Greco, Francesco Tagliavia, amongst others.[17] Despite Scarantino confessing, one prosecutor resigned because of her strong reservations about the veracity of his statements, which his family said he had been coerced into making. Police were also accused of giving him details of the crime to learn so he could provide those details in official statements to corroborate his testimony. Forty seven people were convicted on Scarantino's word nonetheless. The lead investigator who supposedly solved the case was made head of Rome CID soon afterward, but is now suspected of having fabricated the evidence to get promotion. He was also involved with the Italian secret service.[18] Case re-opened[edit] As with many high-profile cases in Italy, the case was reopened. The prosecutor in Caltanissetta
Caltanissetta
reopened investigations[19] after Gaspare Spatuzza, a Mafia killer who became a state witness (pentito) in 2008, admitted he stole the Fiat 126
Fiat 126
used for the car bomb in the Via D’Amelio attack. His admission contradicted the declarations of Vincenzo Scarantino, who had confessed earlier to stealing the car and whose testimony was the main evidence in previous trials. When confronted with Spatuzza’s statement, Scarantino admitted that he had repeated what some investigating officers had forced him to tell the magistrates.[20] Spatuzza's declaration led to the re-opening of the trial on Borsellino’s murder, which had been concluded in 2003.[21] Spatuzza claims that his boss, Giuseppe Graviano, told him in 1994 that future Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
was bargaining with the Mafia, concerning a political-electoral agreement between Cosa Nostra and Berlusconi’s party Forza Italia, in exchange for certain guarantees – such as to stop the 1993 Mafia bomb terror campaign, to force state institutions to moderate their crackdown against the Mafia after the murders of Antimafia magistrates Falcone and Borsellino. Berlusconi had entered politics and won his first term as Prime Minister in 1994. Berlusconi’s right-hand man Marcello Dell'Utri
Marcello Dell'Utri
was the intermediary, according to Spatuzza. Dell'Utri has dismissed Spatuzza's allegations as "nonsense".[22][23][24] Spatuzza’s assertions back up previous statements of the pentito Antonino Giuffrè, who said that the Graviano brothers were the intermediaries between Cosa Nostra
Cosa Nostra
and Berlusconi. Cosa Nostra
Cosa Nostra
decided to back Berlusconi's Forza Italia
Forza Italia
party from its foundation in 1993, in exchange for help in resolving the Mafia's judicial problems. The Mafia turned to Forza Italia
Forza Italia
when its traditional contacts in the discredited Christian Democrat party proved unable to protect its members from the rigours of the law.[25] "The statements given by Spatuzza about prime minister Berlusconi are baseless and can be in no way verified," according to Berlusconi’s lawyer and MP for the People of Freedom party (Il Popolo della Libertà, PdL), Niccolò Ghedini.[22] The alleged negotiations between Dell’Utri and the Mafia followed an earlier attempt with Vito Ciancimino, the local political link for the Corleonesi
Corleonesi
clan, who supposedly had contacted government officials after the killing of Falcone to negotiate a stop to the killing spree. Borsellino apparently had been informed of the machinations.[10][26] Two former colleagues of Borsellino have told investigators about a meeting with Borsellino in Palermo
Palermo
shortly before his death during which he broke down in tears saying, "A friend has betrayed me, a friend has betrayed me."[19] One of the mysteries around Borsellino’s death involves his red agenda (notebook), where he used to take all his notes. Right after the attack in Via d’Amelio it disappeared from the crime scene and was never found.[27] "My brother’s death was a State murder," Paolo’s brother Salvatore Borsellino claims. "My brother knew about the negotiations between the Mafia and the state, and this is why he was killed."[19] Legacy[edit]

Memorial tree dedicated to Borsellino, in Palermo

Borsellino today is considered as one of the most important magistrates killed by the Sicilian Mafia
Sicilian Mafia
and he is remembered as one of the main symbols of the battle of the State against the Mafia. Many schools and public buildings were named after him, including the Palermo
Palermo
International Airport (now known as Falcone-Borsellino Airport) - a memorial by local sculptor Tommaso Geraci is there - and the Velodromo Paolo Borsellino
Velodromo Paolo Borsellino
multi-use stadium in Palermo. In recognition of their efforts in the anti-Mafia trials, he and Giovanni Falcone were named as heroes of the last 60 years in the November 13, 2006 issue of Time Magazine.[1] His sister Rita ran as centre-left presidential candidate in the 2006 regional election, after having won the regional primary election, but lost to incumbent Salvatore Cuffaro, who was later sentenced to seven years in prison for collusion with the Mafia.[28] His famous quote about Sicily, "she will become most beautiful", is the namesake of the Diventerà Bellissima
Diventerà Bellissima
party.[29] See also[edit]

Rita Atria List of victims of the Sicilian Mafia Il Capo dei Capi

References[edit]

^ a b Giovanni Falcone
Giovanni Falcone
& Paolo Borsellino, Time Magazine, November 13, 2006 ^ a b c d Stille, Excellent Cadavers, pp. 22-27 ^ a b c d Giovanni Falcone, Paolo Borsellino
Paolo Borsellino
and the Procura of Palermo
Palermo
Archived 2012-10-21 at the Wayback Machine., Peter Schneider & Jane Schneider, May 2002, essay is based on excerpts from Chapter Six of Jane Schneider and Peter Schneider, Reversible Destiny: Mafia, Antimafia, and the Struggle for Palermo, Berkeley: University of California Press ^ a b Obituary: Paolo Borsellino, The Independent, July 21, 1992 ^ Stille, Excellent Cadavers, p. 51 ^ Stille, Excellent Cadavers, pp. 47-51 ^ Follain, Vendetta, p. 144 ^ Stille, Excellent Cadavers, p. 78 ^ Folain, Vendetta, p. 150 ^ a b Italy: Ex-interior minister implicated in mafia negotiations, AND Kronos International, July 25, 2012 ^ Follain, Vendetta, p. 187 ^ Follain, Vendetta, p. 44 & pp. 187-8 ^ NYT, OCT. 28, 2014 https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/29/world/europe/italys-president-testifies-in-mafia-case.html By GAIA PIANIGIANI ^ Folain, Vendetta, pp. 144-145 ^ Stille, Excellent Cadavers, p. 372 ^ (in Italian) L'ultima intervista a Paolo Borsellino ^ (in Italian) Via D’Amelio, 19 luglio 1992, Polizia e Democrazia, July–August 2002 ^ Follain 198-200 ^ a b c A Mafia Boss Breaks Silence on an Assassination, Time Magazine, August 3, 2009 ^ Police Officers Investigated for Misdirecting Inquiries into Borsellino Killings, Corriere della Sera, July 29, 2009 ^ (in Italian) Si riapre il caso Borsellino Archived 2009-09-01 at the Wayback Machine., La Stampa, July 14, 2009 ^ a b Lawyer rejects turncoat's claims linking Berlusconi to mafia, Adnkronos International, October 23, 2009 ^ Mafia witness 'boasted of links to Silvio Berlusconi', BBC News, December 4, 2009 ^ Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
linked with Mafia bombing campaign, Daily Telegraph, December 4, 2009 ^ Berlusconi implicated in deal with godfathers, The Guardian, December 5, 2002 ^ The mysteries of Italy Archived 2012-07-28 at the Wayback Machine., by Marco Travaglio, on Beppe Grillo’s blog, August 2010 ^ The plans of the Mafia to undermine Italian democracy and destabilize State institutions, by Angela Corrias, Global Research, July 27, 2009 ^ (in Italian) Talpe Dda, Cuffaro condannato a 7 anni in appello; "L'ex governatore ha favorito Cosa Nostra", La Repubblica, January 23, 2010 ^ http://www.fratelli-italia.it/2017/07/27/musumeci-rampelli-diceva-borsellino-la-sicilia-diventera-bellissima/

Bibliography[edit]

Schneider, Jane T. & Peter T. Schneider (2003). Reversible Destiny: Mafia, Antimafia, and the Struggle for Palermo, Berkeley: University of California Press ISBN 0-520-23609-2 Stille, Alexander (1995). Excellent Cadavers: The Mafia and the Death of the First Italian Republic, New York: Vintage ISBN 0-09-959491-9 Follain, John (2012). Vendetta: The Mafia, Judge
Judge
Falcone and the Quest for Justice, London: Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN 978-1-444-71411-1

Further reading[edit]

Dickie, John (2004). Cosa Nostra. A history of the Sicilian Mafia, London: Coronet, ISBN 0-340-82435-2 (Review in the Observer, February 15, 2004) Jamieson, Alison (2000). The Antimafia: Italy’s fight against organized crime, London: Macmillan, ISBN 0-333-80158-X.

External links[edit]

(in Italian) Biography of Paolo Borsellino (in Italian) Interview with Paolo Borsellino (in Italian) Paolo Borsellino
Paolo Borsellino
Foundation for cultural struggle to mafia, also entitled to all mafia's victim (in Italian) 19 luglio 1992 Site dedicated to Paolo Borsellino
Paolo Borsellino
run by his brother Salvatore, with special emphasis on the investigations on the "mandanti occulti" (the still unknown persons outside Cosa Nostra behind the magistrate's assassination)

v t e

Cosa Nostra

Chain of command

Commission (Cupola) Family (Cosca) Boss (Capofamiglia) Underboss
Underboss
(Sottocapo) Consigliere
Consigliere
(Consigliori) Caporegime
Caporegime
(Capodecina) Soldier (Soldato) Associate

Codes and terms

Made man Mandamento Omertà Faida Pizzo Pizzino

Clans

Corleonesi Greco Motisi Inzerillo Cuntrera-Caruana

Members

List of Sicilian Mafia
Sicilian Mafia
members List of Sicilian Mafia
Sicilian Mafia
members by city

Meetings

Grand Hotel des Palmes Mafia meeting 1957

Wars

First Mafia War
First Mafia War
(1961–1963) Second Mafia War
Second Mafia War
(1981–1983)

Massacres and bombings

Portella della Ginestra massacre
Portella della Ginestra massacre
(1947) Ciaculli bombing
Ciaculli bombing
(1963) Viale Lazio massacre
Viale Lazio massacre
(1969) Circonvallazione massacre
Circonvallazione massacre
(1982) Via Carini massacre
Via Carini massacre
(1982) Via Federico Pipitone massacre (1983) Train 904 bombing (1984) Pizzolungo bombing (1985) Capaci bombing
Capaci bombing
(1992) Via D'Amelio bombing
Via D'Amelio bombing
(1992) Via dei Georgofili bombing
Via dei Georgofili bombing
(1993) Via Palestro massacre
Via Palestro massacre
(1993)

Antimafia

Italian Antimafia Commission
Antimafia Commission
(members) Direzione Investigativa Antimafia Addiopizzo Pentito List of victims of the Sicilian Mafia

Trials

1960s Sicilian Mafia
Sicilian Mafia
trials Maxi Trial
Maxi Trial
(1986-1992) Pizza Connection Trial (1985–1986)

Related

American Cosa Nostra Anonima sarda Banda della Comasina Banda della Magliana Basilischi Beati Paoli Camorra Corsican mafia

Unione Corse

Garduña Italian brigandage (19th century) Sicilian brigandage and rebels (20th century) Mala del Brenta 'Ndrangheta Sacra Corona Unita Stidda Stuppagghiari Vendicatori

American Cosa Nostra Organized crime in Italy Mafia bibliography

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 20484943 LCCN: n93092202 ISNI: 0000 0001 2209 3277 GND: 119181398 SUDOC: 070766304 BNF: cb169858160 (data) ICC

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