Italians outraged after the release of “killer of people” from the Sicilian mafia after 25 years in prison

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Brusca confessed to his role in more than 100 murders, including the death of a 14-year-old boy who was killed and dissolved in acid

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Sicilian Mafia defector Giovanni Brusca, the man who detonated the bomb that killed Judge Giovanni Falcone in 1992, has been released from prison after serving a 25-year sentence, causing grief and anger among those close to him. those he killed.

Brusca, 64, was arrested in 1996, four years after the attack that killed Falcone, his wife and three police officers. After becoming a state renegade, he aided prosecutors in their crackdown on the Cosa Nostra clans.

The assassination of Falcone, followed two months later by that of his fellow anti-mafia magistrate Paolo Borsellino, was one of the most notorious episodes in Italy’s long and violent fight against organized crime.

Brusca, known as the “killer of people,” confessed to his role in more than 100 murders, including the death of a 14-year-old boy, Giuseppe Di Matteo, who was killed and dissolved in acid because that he was the son of a mafia informant.

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Nicola Di Matteo, whose 14-year-old brother Giuseppe was killed and dissolved in acid, noted the irony of Brusca himself becoming an informant. She suggested that Italy rethink “this system which rewards all government collaborators, even those responsible for massacres and hundreds of murders”.

Law enforcement officials have argued that offering reduced sentences to informants is a crucial tool for prosecutors seeking to crack down on organized crime. But politicians are now questioning whether the law needs to be reformed so that someone who has committed as many crimes as Brusca cannot escape a life sentence, La Repubblica reported.

“He only collaborated with the justice system to obtain advantages, it was not a personal and intimate choice,” Corriere della Sera Rosaria Costa, widow of a police officer who died in the Falcone attack, told the daily. .

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Maria Falcone, the judge’s sister, said she was “saddened” by the news but that the law gave Brusca the right to be released from prison.

Brusca provided investigators with information about several deadly Cosa Nostra attacks in the 1980s and 1990s and testified in a trial regarding alleged negotiations between Italian officials and Mafiosi to stop the bombings.

Brusca – who had already been granted parole on several occasions – will be on parole for four years, Italian media reported.

“No matter what one may think of the atrocities he committed at the time, there was a collaboration … Let’s not forget that he gave information about attacks both in Sicily and in mainland Italy, ”said chief anti-mafia prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho. , told Reuters.

“Obviously the judges thought it was the appropriate prison sentence,” he added.

Several Italian politicians have condemned Brusca’s release.

“This is not the ‘justice’ that Italians deserve,” said Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing League which leads opinion polls.

With files from the Washington Post

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