Mafia hitman apologizes; Italians outraged by his release – Boston 25 News
ROME – (AP) – The release from prison of one of Italy’s most notorious mobsters turned informants sparked more outrage on Thursday, even after he was shown in a former prison interview apologizing to of his many victims for his role in “this factory of death.”
Giovanni Brusca, 64, was released from prison this week after serving 25 years of a life sentence for some of Cosa Nostra’s most heinous crimes. These include the 1992 car bomb assassination of Italy’s leading anti-Mafia prosecutor, his wife and three bodyguards and the 1996 kidnapping and murder of the 11-year-old son of a defector of the Mafia. The boy’s strangled body was dissolved in a vat of acid.
Brusca allegedly admitted to having participated in some 150 homicides as the right-hand man of Cosa Nostra’s “boss of bosses”, Salvatore “Toto” Riina, who died in prison in 2017.
Given the gravity of Brusca’s crimes, his early release has pushed back many Italians and sparked calls for reform of laws that allow reduced sentences for Mafiosi who break the “omerta”, or wall of silence, and cooperate with investigators. But others, including the sister of the murdered prosecutor, defended it as a necessary means of inciting the Mafiosi to collaborate with the justice system.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera broadcast what it said were unreleased excerpts from a January 10, 2016 prison interview that Brusca gave to French documentary filmmaker Mosco Levi Boucault, in which he apologized for his crimes.
With his head covered, wearing dark glasses and gloves for disguise, Brusca said he accepted the interview because he wanted to “apologize to all the relatives of the victims to whom I have caused so much pain and sadness “.
“I tried to bring as much as possible my contribution and a minimum of explanation to all those who seek truth and justice”, he declared.
Brusca said his family paid a price for his decision to become an informant, but said it was the right moral, legal and human thing to do.
“Because it allows me to end this. I call Cosa Nostra a chain of death, a factory of death. Nothing more, nothing less, “he said.
The interview and Brusca’s release reopened old wounds for the families of the Mafia victims, who said he was still not completely clear on the details of the killings.
Claudio Fava, a Sicilian politician whose father was killed by Cosa Nostra in 1984, said that Brusca’s release was not what upset him, since the law allows it.
“What is not normal is that after 30 years, the truth about the massacres is still held hostage by reluctance, cowardice and lies,” Fava wrote on Facebook.
It wasn’t immediately clear why Brusca’s apology hadn’t been released before. Levi Boucault’s movie “Corleone” was released in 2019.
Brusca is now part of a witness protection program and is expected to serve four years of supervised release, Italian press reports said. He claimed in the interview that he wanted to “show his face” to apologize, but could not for his own safety.
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