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Scritto da Anna Petrozzi e Lorenzo Baldo Martedì 02 Febbraio 2010 10:28   
Mercoledì 03 Febbraio 2010 13:16


Cosa Nostra's real face. The one with political, secret services and business interconnections. This, is how Massimo Ciancimino described Cosa Nostra, yesterday, during his testimony in a court room at Ucciardone. Ciancimino spoke during a trial hearing against general Mori and colonel Obinu. The two men are accused of having purposely failed to capture Provenzano.


The face that Italy struggles to comprehend, to absorb the meaning of. The widespread propaganda which portrays the fight against mafia like a cops and robbers game surely doesn't help the country's need for truth.

Cosa Nostra, the one traced by Don Vito's son, the one he witnessed, is a powerful structure with a primary role in Sicily's (but not only in Sicily's) economic and political development.

Vito Ciancimino was very close to both Provenzano, whom he knew since he was teenager, as well as to the mysterious Mr. Franco; a secret services man with an imaginary name thought up by a politician named Restivo. At the time Restivo was minister of Internal Affairs.

With the first character Vito Ciancimino ran big business. Reserved issues were, instead, Mr. Franco's prerogative. And, since they were all in close contact with one another, don Vito worked willingly with both on all the more delicate strategies.

Thanks to his friendship with the godfather, the old mayor managed to gain contract work for himself and for his nominees. Don Vito snuffled enough contracts to make himself and the criminal organization very rich.

This was the case for the big gas business deal of Caltanissetta. Thanks to don Vito's influence and Provenzano's relationship with the Madonia family the contract was assigned to the Lapis – Brancato network. When the firm was sold in 2004, don Vito, who had secret shares which amounted to 15% and, Provenzano who hustled a permanent fixed sum of 2% for having “taken care of matters” ended up earning 130 million euros.

However, don Vito also did business with Salvatore Buscemi and Franco Bonura, important bosses who were “like family” to the old mayor. Buscemi and Bonura helped don Vito diversify his investments outside of Sicily, in Canada, in Montreal and Milan where mafia proceeds were used in

a “monumental operation”, Silvio Berlusconi's “Milano due”. The witness specified that many other mafia bosses had also invested in the operation. Marcello Dell'Utri shows up among the names of the business sharks which appear in Vito Ciancimino's documents.

Mr Franco, who Massimo Ciancimino gives a generic description of, (around 65 -70 years old, distinct and well groomed) as well as a sim which has not yet been found, was rather a discreet and silent councillor. He stepped in or was consulted in situations which required planning. It was Mr. Franco who saw the old corleonese politician as the right man for specific activities which required covering. When Moro was kidnapped, in 1978, the leading figures of the Christian Democrat party and Franco himself had contacted don Vito to ask him to inform Provenzano and Pippo Calo' to avoid taking unrequested initiatives which involved looking for the cove where Moro was being held.

A similar task had also been urged of the former mayor immediately following the Ustica massacre. On that occasion don Vito contacted Provenzano to have him inspect the area of the massacre in order to avoid any information from leaking out out and, to stop each and every uncontrolled testimony which could impair the official version established by the government at that time.

Cosa Nostra, along with one of its' main political – business representatives, participated in some of the most dramatic incidents of the country. Although it had “only” played a supporting role in the massacre of Ustica and in Moro's kidnapping during the massacres of '92-'93 it became the protagonist of change.

During public prosecutor Nino Di Matteo's interrogation, Massimo Ciancimino introduced the “negotiation” topic. By “negotiation” he intends the dialogue which took place between the State, who was represented by general Mori and captain De Donno, and, Riina's mafia where don Vito served as an intermediary.

Ciancimino junior recalled an encounter he had with De Donno, on a flight to Palermo. Only a few days had passed since the massacre of Capaci and, in that occasion De Donno had asked to meet with Ciancimino junior's father.

Don Vito, accepted to see the two police officials only after having consulted Provenzano and Mr. Franco, “meeting police officers wasn't part of my father's mentality and it surely did not please Cosa Nostra”. The purpose of the meeting was to put an end to the violence which had reached it's peak with Falcone's murder. The mafia would surrender its' fugitives on one condition: their family members had to be guaranteed a good treatment.

The advantage offered to Ciancimino consisted in a sentence reduction. But, don Vito did not deem the two officials as capable of resolving his detention problems, therefore, thanks to Mr. Franco, he was guaranteed that Minister Rognoni and Minister Mancino had been informed as to Mori and De Donno's activities. All this took place before the massacre of D'Amelio street.

Mori and De Donno had always given different versions with regards to the mafia – State negotiation by dating their meetings after judge Borsellino's murder but, most importantly, they had always denied having seen the “papello” (list of requests made by the mafia to the State/ conditions which were to be met to put an end to violence) drawn up by Riina.

Despite Mori and De Donno's denials, Massimo Ciancimino handed over the “list”. The document was accompanied by an attachment; a note written by don Vito: delivered spontaneously to colonel Mori of the Ros police force. Don Vito had ordered his son to pick up the document, placed in a sealed envelope, personally at Antonio Cina's villa in Mondello. Cina' was Riina's “longa manus” (long hand). Once don Vito saw the content of the list he became furious and blurted out: “the usual idiot”. The politician and the head of Cosa Nostra had never been particularly close . Don Vito believed Riina was egocentric and vain. Following the massacre of Capaci the former mayor – confided in his son years later – that he suspected that someone was playing on Riina's personality to induce him to create a destabilizing situation in preparation of a deep phase of change.

Although don Vito disapproved the list, both Provenzano and Mr. Franco invited him to set the grounds for mediation and revise Riina's impossible requests in order to make them acceptable.

The revised version of the list is, the second document which public prosecutor Di Matteo asked Cinacimino junior to comment. It consists in a had written sheet of paper which belonged to his father. It contains other types of legislative changes which were of great interest to Cosa Nostra but, not only to Cosa Nostra. The document acted as a note, something to go by during don Vito's future appointments with Provenzano, Mr. Franco and the police officials.

Topics which Massimo Ciancimo continued to discuss for the entire length of his testimony.

There is, however, one, last, curious detail worthy of attention: inside the courtroom, yesterday, there were a number of quiet and interested students as well as a few journalists ( the more notorious ones). It was nothing like the press hustle which took place when Gaspare Spatuzza was questioned. Even though Spatuzza was an important man of honor, his role is of less impact if compared to the role of a person who is the direct witness of a dramatic era which scarred the history of our country.

One thing is certain. In this case, blood, gore and violence play a minor role. It's difficult to belie and spoil Massimo Ciancimino's words. He tells the story of a mafia which is best left untold because,you never know, italians may begin to understand what they were never told.

Anna Petrozzi e Lorenzo Baldo (ANTIMAFIADuemila, 2 febbraio 2010)

italian version

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