The “improvised initiative” of the negotiations by the carabinieri took place, was “accepted by Riina” and was carried out, opening a “communication channel” with the mafia. But for “solidarity purposes” or “the safeguarding of the safety of the national community and the protection of a general – and fundamental – interest of the State“. It is on page 2074 that the Palermo appeal magistrates explain why the former officers of the Ros Mario Mori, Antonio Subranni and Giuseppe De Donno they were acquitted together with the other defendants of the trial that saw Cosa Nostra e Stato in the dock. “The hypothesis of a collusion of the Carabinieri with Mafia crime circles was rejected at the outset; and refuted the hypothesis that they acted to preserve the safety of this or that politician, it must be reiterated that, in doing their utmost to open a channel of communication with the Cosa Nostra that would create the conditions to start a possible dialogue aimed – the judges write – to cessation of the massacres, and in soliciting this dialogue, they were motivated, rather, by purposes of solidarity (the safeguarding of the safety of the national community) and the protection of a general – and fundamental – interest of the State ”. The college confirmed the convictions for the leaders Leoluca Bagarella and Antonino Cinà for the existence of a negotiation, which is therefore proven, even if it is defined precisely “sudden initiative”The action of the Ros.
Almost a year after the sentence issued on 23 September 2021, the reasoning of the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Palermochaired by Angelo Pellino, who had excluded the responsibility of the carabinieri because the fact did not constitute a crime: they were accused of threatening the political body of the State. In the first instance they had all been sentenced to very severe penalties. For Marcello Dell’Utri, on the other hand, the acquittal was for not having committed the deed. For the judges there is no certain proof of the “last mile” or that he communicated the mafia threat to the then Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The accusations against the repentant Giovanni Brusca have been declared prescribed. Penalty reduced to the boss Leoluca Bagarella. The sentence of the mafia boss confirmed Nino Cinà. The sentence, motivated in three thousand pages, overturning the verdict of first instance, had in fact confirmed the sentences only for the mafia.
“THEY WANTED TO ARGINE THE ESCALATION OF VIOLENCE” – The carabinieri, accused of threatening the State Political Body, wanted to stop the massacres and had no other reasons according to the magistrates. “Once it was established that the aim pursued, or in any case the priority, was not to save the life of the former minister Mannino or to other politicians who risked making the end of Limanothing stands in the way of recognizing that the carabinieri actually acted with the objective – reads the motivations – to place a leeway to escalation in the act of mafia violence that made the danger of new massacres and attacks more than concrete and current, with the consequent set of damages in terms of destruction, subversion of public order and security and above all human lives“. For the court the decision to approach the former mafia mayor Vito Ciancimino to start talking with pieces of Cosa Nostra it would have been taken precisely to avoid more blood and more pain.
It is therefore undisputed, because proven by the convergent allegations of the direct protagonists of the affair, that Vito Ciancimino “, the former mafia mayor of Palermo” understood the proposal initially addressed to him by Mori and De Donno exactly in the terms in which this proposal was formulated, and therefore, as summarized, in different but semantically equivalent words, by the two former prefect officers. And therefore the proposal was to groped to establish contact with top managementor in any case with authoritative exponents of Cosa Nostra to test their availability for dialogue aimed at finding a point of understanding, that is, an agreement, to put an end to the massacres. Basically – say the judges – the solicitation addressed to Ciancimino to explore the possibility of establishing a dialogue with those people was intended, in the intentions of the ROS officers, just a trick to gain his trust and to take time, gradually bringing him to their side, since he could not be hard-nosed to ask him to collaborate if he wanted to alleviate his procedural position “.
“In the opinion of this Court, the exclusion of the guilt of the officers of the Arma per lack of the subjective element – the judges explain – it must equally come due to the radical incompatibility of the aim pursued with theirs sudden initiative, which was certainly that of stopping the escalation of mafia violence and avoiding new massacres, with the will of threat ”. According to the judges, the purposes of the action taken by Mori and his would therefore be incompatible with the thesis of the prosecution which claimed that with their behavior the carabinieri had strengthened the threatening intentions of the boss Totò Riina.
But not only. For the judges “the design” of the Ros “was to insinuate in a rift that was known to already exist within the Cosa Nostra and leverage on the tensions and contrasts that harbored behind the apparent monolithism of Corleonese hegemony, to subvert the internal power structures of the criminal organization, ensuring the most dangerous bosses to the country’s prisons and indirectly favoring the deployment which, although always criminal , however, appeared, and was, less dangerous for the security of the State and the safety of the community than the architect of the massacre line. A certainly ambitious design and that it was placed in an intermediate position between the real ‘political negotiation and a mere’ police negotiation ‘, because it required, at least in perspective, something more than what today, but not only today, could be defined aiding and abetting. The possible negotiation had as interlocutor, through Vito Ciancimino, not the mafia leaders, – explains the court – generically understood, or even Salvatore Riina, but the heads of that component of the mafia organization that was available and interested in ousting him , to install leadership in his place by his vocation and conviction inclined to seek dialogue in order to be able to devote himself profitably to the development of his own business, rather than attacking the state in all its forms head on ”. “No interest, therefore, not even indirect, in wielding the mafia threat like instrument of pressure on the Government to condition their choices in a situation of constraint, which would have been the prospect of new massacres if the requests for some sort of dialogue or agreement at a distance had not been accepted, succumbed in the competition with the antagonist sideand that therefore the most bloody and violent strategy prevailed: as would have happened if the leaders of the more moderate component had been put out of action by sudden captures or arrests ”.
CIANCIMINO AND THE AUTHORIZATION OF RIINA – “Vito Ciancimino was contacted, first by De Donno and then also by Mori personally, yes, certainly to acquire news of investigative interest from him, but, at the same time, also with the declared intention of trying to establish, through Ciancimino himself, a dialogue with the mafia leaders aimed at overcoming the frontal conflict with the State that the said mafia leaders had decided after the outcome of the maxi trial and which had already culminated, at that moment, with the very serious massacre of Capaci ”. The former mafia mayor of Palermo, the judges continue “perhaps even unexpectedly for Mori and De Donno, actually activated immediately, informing (through Antonino Cinà) Salvatore Riina the solicitation for dialogue received by the Carabinieri; Salvatore Riina accepted the “negotiation”authorizing Vito Ciancimino ”.
THE FAILURE TO SEARCH THE COVO DI RIINA – The “disconcerting omissions” that followed the capture of the boss Riina, and in particular the failure to search his lair, are framed “in the context of Mori’s conduct aimed at preserving his interlocution from possible interference with the leaders of the mafia association already undertaken in the previous months “. Furthermore, “in this context, and despite the absence of a prior agreement with Bernardo Provenzano or with subjects close to him, and therefore of a specific will to aiding and abetting, with the non-search of Riina’s hideout it was intended to send a signal of good will, a signal that is of the willingness to maintain or resume the thread of the dialogue that had been started , through the contacts made with Ciancimino to overcome that opposition of the Cosa Nostra with the State that had already culminated in the massacres of Capaci and Via D’Amelio ”, say the judges. “There is no proof that it was a prior agreement with Provenzano took place or with other mafia exponents who contemplated on the one hand the handover of Riina on the other, the renunciation of searching the property, giving the mafia time to clean it of all traces. – The court continues – Neither Mori and him could be sure of the existence inside the house of traces useful for investigations or even of compromising documents. But even if they were certain that there was nothing compromising, they would still have determined to refrain from an immediate search because the meaning of that gesture was above all symbolicsince it must serve to send a signal of good will and readiness to continue on the path of dialogue ”.
AND THE FAILURE TO ARREST IN PROVENZANO – And it is in this context that the unwillingness to arrest the boss Bernardo Provenzano is inserted. Because the capture of him could – once Riina was eliminated from the scene – revive the massacre instincts. “Excluding any hypothesis of collusion with the mafia, if Mori and Subranni could have an interest to preserve the freedom of Provenzanothis could well be motivated by the belief that Provenzano’s leadership, better than any hypothetical and unlikely pact, it would in fact have guaranteed against the risk of the prevalence of massacre instincts or a return to the hard line of violent opposition to the state ”. According to the judges, the carabinieri would have liked to “favor Provenzano’s inaction in a soft way”. “There were therefore unspeakable reasons of national interest not to upset the internal balance of power a Cosa Nostra which sanctioned the hegemony of Provenzano and his strategy of invisibility or submersion, at least until this was the line imposed on the whole organization. A higher interest pushed to be allies of one’s enemy – the judges reason – to counter an even more dangerous enemy“.
“This is why, far from disinterested in the investigations aimed at the capture of Provenzano, apparently, it would have made it a priority objective of its investigative commitment in Sicily, ending up acquiring a sort of monopoly of those investigations. Know the network of facilitators it was essential to be able to exert pressure on the Corleonese boss anyway, and to feed in him the awareness that the Carabinieri had the possibility and the ability to put an end to his inaction, and yet they would not do it as long as there was an advantage in this sense ”, They add. “In short, we wanted to ‘protect’ Provenzano, that is, to favor his fugitive in a soft way, that is, limiting himself to bringing forward various lines of investigation that could lead to his capturebut at the same time taking care not to carry out investigative activities to the end when it was too close to the objective; but all this not because, in the event of a transgression of an elusive pact, the other contracting party would have reactivated the massacre, but because the fall of Provenzano, which would inevitably follow his arrest, would have favored the re-emergence of the massacre instincts. completely dormant in the Cosa Nostra “.
Listens Mattanza, the massacres of ’92 as they have never told you. A podcast of Giuseppe Pipitone produced from Everyday occurrence.