Court acquits associate of Italy’s ex-premier of Mafia deal

Sep 22, 2021, 10:58 PM | Updated: Sep 23, 2021, 11:03 am

ROME (AP) — An appeals court in Palermo, Sicily, acquitted a close associate of former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi on Thursday of having negotiated with the Mafia during the 1990s.

In 2018, a lower court convicted Marcello Dell’Utri, who had been a senator for Berlusconi’s right-wing Forza Italia party, of acting as a liaison between Italian state institutions and Cosa Nostra bosses in Sicily and gave him a 12-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors alleged Dell’Utri was part of purported efforts to convince mobsters to stop a bombing campaign, which had included targets like the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, in exchange for authorities easing up on Mafia crackdowns and loosening particularly rigid prison conditions for top mobsters.

But the appeals court in Palermo ruled that Dell’Utri had done no such thing.

Dell’Utri was one of the forces behind the founding of Forza Italia in the early 1990s. Berlusconi served three stints as Italy’s premier.

In a separate, earlier case, Dell’Utri was convicted of Mafia association, a verdict upheld in 2014 by Italy’s highest criminal court. He received a seven-year sentence and was released in 2019 after serving more than five years.

Dell’Utri, who was free on his own recognizance in the run-up to the appeals court case, wasn’t in the courtroom to hear of his acquittal, Sky TG24 TV reported from Palermo.

Top bosses of the Sicily-based Cosa Nostra unleashed the 1990s bombing campaign. In 1993, five car bombs hit a basilica and a church in Rome, the Uffizi art museum in Florence and an art gallery in Milan. In all, 10 people were killed and dozens were wounded.

Earlier that year, long time top Mafia chieftain Salvatore “Toto” Riina was arrested in an apartment in Palermo after decades as a fugitive. The bombings were ordered by the Mafia as retaliation and to intimidate the Italian government from cracking down organized crime, according to prosecutors.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A woman pushes her scooter past the entrance of FESPACO (Pan-African Film & TV Festival of Ouagadou...
Associated Press

Africa’s largest film festival kicks off in Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Africa’s largest film festival kicks off Saturday in Burkina Faso amid both the COVID-19 pandemic and a growing jihadi insurgency in the West African nation that has killed thousands of people and displaced more than 1 million in recent years. Alex Moussa Sawadogo, head of the Pan-African Film and TV […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Russia’s daily COVID-19 deaths top 1,000 for first time

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s daily death toll from COVID-19 has exceeded 1,000 for the first time as the country faces a sustained wave of rising infections. The national coronavirus task force on Saturday reported 1,002 deaths in the previous day, up from 999 on Friday, along with 33,208 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, more than 1,000 […]
1 day ago
Johnson, left, Bailou, center, and Benson Su of Auckland show their patches after receiving their v...
Associated Press

The Latest: Russia’s daily virus death toll passes 1,000

MOSCOW — Russia’s daily death toll from COVID-19 has exceeded 1,000 for the first time as the country faces a sustained wave of rising infections. The national coronavirus task force on Saturday reported 1,002 deaths in the previous day, up from 999 on Friday, along with 33,208 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, more than 1,000 higher […]
1 day ago
In this photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, right, ...
Associated Press

Taiwan’s leader pays respects to 46 dead in building inferno

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan’s president on Saturday paid her respects at a morgue to the dozens of people killed in a deadly inferno that ripped through an aging tower block earlier in the week. The fire in the southern city of Kaohsiung killed at least 46 people, according to authorities, after it broke out […]
1 day ago
Armin Laschet, CDU Federal Chairman and Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia, speaks at the...
Associated Press

Merkel party leader urges unity after German election loss

BERLIN (AP) — The leader of outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party urged supporters Saturday to emulate the unity and discipline of their victorious opponents, declaring that it only can start winning again if members learn to stand together. Armin Laschet has indicated his readiness to step down as leader of the Christian Democratic Union, […]
1 day ago
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the LUCY spacecraft lifts off from Launch Complex ...
Associated Press

NASA’s asteroid hunter Lucy soars into sky with diamonds

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft named Lucy rocketed into the sky with diamonds Saturday morning on a 12-year quest to explore eight asteroids. Seven of the mysterious space rocks are among swarms of asteroids sharing Jupiter’s orbit, thought to be the pristine leftovers of planetary formation. An Atlas V rocket blasted off […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Court acquits associate of Italy’s ex-premier of Mafia deal