‘In 2013 I wrote a whole chapter dedicated to the trattativa stato–mafia in my book about Berlusconi when just a few believed it had happened. Proud of it. A post will follow with the chapter. Thank you Di Matteo‘ is my first tweet after the sentence (trattativa stato-mafia means state-mafia negotiations). So here is the chapter in question from my book Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy: the story so far, the way I learned about it, the way I felt, my first mafia encounter because of a book …
Paradoxically, a few days ago the Milan magistrates ‘rehabilitated’ the former Knight for buona condotta (good behaviour), cancelling his exclusion from public offices and from political candidacy that the 2013 four-year sentence for tax fraud had cast upon him. Past deals with the mafia for protection and probably to win political elections, investigations to be a mandante a volto coperto (covered face sender) for the terror mafia bloodshed in 1992-93 and today’s ongoing trials for witnesses’ corruption are indeed biographical notes to prove he is a worthy character who has shown repentance, morally entitled to rehabilitation.
Eight jailed in Italy over secret talks between state officials and mafia – Five-year case has thrown light on one of the murkiest chapter’s in Italy’s recent history (the Guardian)
A court in Italy has convicted eight men, including mob bosses, police investigators and a close associate of Silvio Berlusconi, over a secret attempt to negotiate with the Sicilian mafia in order to end a bloody bombing campaign in the 1990s … Eight men were handed jail sentences ranging from eight to 28 years, including three former heads of the security police department – Mario Mori, Giuseppe De Donno and Antonio Subranni – [The State] and the co-founder of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, Marcello Dell’Utri. (…) As part of their campaign to put pressure on the state, the mafia – at the time led by the Corleone family – unleashed a string of bombs and assassinations which killed 23 people including anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.
(…) Prosecutor Di Matteo said the verdict proved that Dell’Utri was the go-between linking the mafia and the new Berlusconi government in May 1994. “The relationship didn’t stop with Berlusconi, the entrepreneur, but arrived at Berlusconi, the politician,” he said. According to the prosecutors, the Italian officials communicated with mafia “godfather” Totò Riina, who died in prison last November, in the attempt to stop the wave of mafia murders and bombings. During the contacts with state officials, mafia bosses offered to stop the bombings in return for reduced sentences for jailed mobsters and a review of all convictions.
Dell’Utri was sentenced to 12 years in prison for undermining the state, as were two retired Carabinieri generals and an ex-colonel. Dell’Utri is already serving a seven-year sentence for tax fraud, false accounting and acts of conspiracy with the Sicilian mafia [the title of this linked article reads: Silvio Berlusconi ally was link to Sicilian mafia, judges rule. Judges say Italian prime minister handed over ‘enormous sums of money’ to Cosa Nostra for protection].
A convicted killer for the Corleone mafia family, Leoluca Bagarella, was handed 28 years and Antonio Cina, another high-ranking Corleone mobster, got 12 years. Both are already in prison. The Corleone bosses of that period, Salvatore “Toto” Riina and Bernardo “the Tractor” Provenzano, are dead. (…)
The state-mafia negotiations sentence brings along almost definitive evidence of a shocking historical truth: the so-called Second Republic, born in the early 90s, sprang from a deal between the most bloodthirsty mafia cupola, the Corleonesi, and Silvio Berlusconi, who was about to win the elections with his new-born party Forza Italia and to become Prime Minister in 1994. Before this sentence, we officially knew that Berlusconi had made deals with the devil before. The middleman had been Marcello Dell’Utri, Berlusconi’s right arm and Forza Italia founder and ideologue. The 9-year jail sentence for mafia association he had already been given handed means that he helped Berlusconi to pay protection money to the mafia up to 1992. The trattativa sentence moves the date forward, saying that Dell’Utri kept on being the middleman at least up to 1994, the period of the first Berlusconi government. The ‘negotiating by bomb’ mafia strategy was Riina’s plan to launch the bloodiest slaughter campaign ever in order to force the state to negotiate a truce after the unprecedented achievements of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino’s Anti-Mafia Palermo Pool. It was an offer that Berlusconi, it is logical to suppose, could not refuse: no more bombing and the mafia support in the elections in exchange for laws favourable for the mafiosi. The trattativa sentence does not prove this agreement directly, of course, but brings another official element to this scenario. Berlusconi’s deal with the mafia in that historical moment still needs the word ‘alleged’, but what was already logical is now more probable.
Even more astonishing, if possible, is a ‘side effect’ of this sentence: once again Silvio Berlusconi and Marcello Dell’Utri are under investigation for the very same mafia slaughters organized by the Corleonesi in 1992-93, in what looks like a theatre of the absurd’s plot, if it wasn’t tragic reality. After the first investigations in Caltanissetta and Florence were closed for lack of evidence in 2011, during the trattativa trial new tapped conversations brought as evidence convinced the Florence magistrates to reopen the case. I discuss this fact and my personal opinion in the extract that follows.
Nowadays, Berlusconi will have to sit as a defendant in a series of new trials with the accusation of having paid witnesses to give false accounting in the so-called bunga-bunga ‘Ruby trial’. Even if Berlusconi is a serial liar, a bufala (fake news) seller and a post-truth age representative that could compete with Donald Trump, we have to believe him when he says he does not remember the number of trials he has undergone in his public life.
Even more paradoxically, a few days ago the Milan magistrates ‘rehabilitated’ him for buona condotta (good behaviour), cancelling his exclusion from public offices and from political candidacy that the 2013 four-year sentence for tax fraud had cast upon him. Past deals with the mafia, today’s accusation to be a mandante a volto coperto (covered face sender) for the terror mafia attacks in 1992-93 and the trials for witnesses’ corruption are indeed biographical notes to prove he is a worthy character who has shown repentance, morally entitled to rehabilitation. Why doesn’t he complain this time of the toghe rosse (red magistrates) that he said they were like the Red Brigades of the seventies? Again, alas, I have to say that Reason does not allow me to understand how the former Cavaliere, 82, can still be a political leader. As I write in Elezioni 2018: le foche ammaestrate e il cavaliere oscuro, the 4.590.000 Italian citizens who voted for him in March 2018 means that Berlusconi ‘s media propaganda machine is still in full swing.
As far as this last topic is concerned, Berlusconi immediately reversed the truth declaring “I am unrelated to the facts”, see the article in Italian Trattativa, Berlusconi: “Ridicolo accostarmi alla sentenza. Dell’Utri, Forza Italia e i Graviano: ecco perchè non è così: la sentenza della corte d’Assise di Palermo riscrive la nascita della Seconda Repubblica. Di Matteo: “L’ex senatore è il collegamento tra Cosa nostra e il governo dell’ex cavaliere”. L’ex premier: “Io sono estraneo ai fatti”. Ma i 12 anni inflitti al suo storico braccio destro per le condotte commesse nel 1994 dicono che il rapporto con la Cupola si estese anche al suo ruolo politico di Giuseppe Pipitone (Il Fatto quotidiano, 21 aprile 2018). And his newspapers rushed in publishing childish fake news: Non c’è prova della trattativa stato-mafia – le condanne verranno annullate writes Libero the following day.
The extract from Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy
(click on the image to read it)