Italy arrests fisherman who supplied TNT for mafia bombings

FLORENCE, Italy Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:27am EST

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FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) - Italy on Monday arrested a fisherman for supplying more than a ton of TNT recovered from unexploded World War Two bombs to the mafia, which used them in a wave of bombings that killed 21 people two decades ago.

Police arrested Cosimo D'Amato, 57, on the basis of testimony from turncoat Palermo mob boss Gaspare Spatuzza, who told investigators that he had helped collect the explosives at a port near Sicily's capital in 1992.

Florentine prosecutor Giuseppe Quattrocchi told reporters the source of explosives used to assassinate magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Salvatore Borsellino and their nine bodyguards in 1992 was the same as those for bombings in Florence and Milan the following year that killed 10 people.

"These explosives tie all the massacres together," Quattrocchi said.

D'Amato is a relative of Cosimo Lo Nigro, a mob boss convicted for the bombings, but has never previously been arrested for mafia-related crimes, Quattrocchi added.

The bombings rattled the nation just as the "Bribesville" corruption scandals overturned the political system and swept away the dominant Christian Democrat party.

Falcone and Borsellino are considered national heroes for having successfully prosecuted Cosa Nostra as a single criminal organisation, ignoring repeated death threats.

The mafia's objective with the bombings, according to turncoats, was to force the state to the bargaining table to negotiate leniency for convicted mobsters facing long sentences and harsh prison conditions.

A current investigation is seeking to prosecute both mafia gangsters and politicians accused of being involved in negotiating a deal.

(Writing by Steve Scherer in Rome; editing by Barry Moody)

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Comments (1)
christinap wrote:
As a member of the editorial staff of Mr. Salvatore Borsellino’s website www. 19luglio1992.com I would like for you to notice and possibly correct two errors which I stumbled upon as I was reading the above article : ‘ Italy arrests fisherman who supplied TNT for mafia bombings’. The first mistake is on line 6. The magistrates who were killed in 1992 are Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, not Salvatore Borsellino ( the latter is his brother who is still very much alive and head of our Red Diary Movement).
The second error concerns the type of explosive used to kill judge Paolo Borsellino. It was not TNT, rather SEMTEX, a particular kind of explosive in that it was used by military forces.
Thanks so much for your attention.

Christina Pacella

Nov 15, 2012 8:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
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