The public defender of Matteo Messina Denaro, considered the last godfather of Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia, who was arrested last January after 30 years on the run from justice, has been relieved of his duties by the Court of Appeal of Caltanissetta (south of Italy) for health reasons, days after denouncing that he had received death threats.
The Court accepted today the petition of Calogero Montante, who had presented a certificate of illness with a prognosis of at least one month for a surgical operation, as announced by the president of the Court before which the mafia boss is being tried for his participation in the murders of the anti-mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borselino.
The until now public defender of Messina Denaro, sentenced to life imprisonment in the first instance, had reported to the Police about ten days ago that he had received death threats, according to local media. The lawyer had previously argued that he was incompatible with the appointment because in the past he had defended the false defector Vincenzo Scarantino ex officio in the process related to the Via Amelio tragedy, in which Borsellino was murdered along with five agents of his escort on July 19, 1992. That petition was dismissed by the court.
Today, Messina Denaro renounced, for the third time, his right to appear at trial and the chair prepared for his appearance in the high security prison of l'Aquila (center) where he is being held appeared empty in the video images issued in the bunker room of the Malaspina prison where the trial is being held.
At the end of his accusation, in the last hearing, the prosecutor Antonino Patti requested confirmation of the life sentence in the first instance for his responsibility in the attacks in 1992, when he was one of the lieutenants of the head of the Corleoneses family. , Salvatore 'Toto' Riina.
On May 23, 1992, Falcone and his wife, magistrate Francesca Morvillo, along with three men from their escort were assassinated with 500 kilos of explosives on the highway between the airport and the Sicilian capital, and less than two months later, Borsellino and five agents died in another brutal attack. Messina Denaro, the so-called "boss of bosses" who was arrested last January when he was going to be treated for cancer at a clinic in Palermo, was also sentenced to life imprisonment for the 1993 attacks in Florence , Rome and Milan in which ten people died.
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