“Silvio Berlusconi and Bettino Craxi at a ‘Ndrangheta summit in the late 1970s”. But the story of the repentant in the courtroom does not add up

Silvio Berlusconi And Bettino Craxi together in the citrus grove with Peppe Piromalli and the other bosses of the Piana di Gioia Tauro. This is the image that the collaborator of justice Jerome Bruzzese give to those who attended the last hearing of ‘Ndrangheta massacre trial which sees the boss of Brancaccio accused on appeal in Reggio Calabria Joseph Graviano and the representative of the Piromalli gang, Rocco Santo Filippone. Both have been condemned in first instance atlife sentence as instigators of the double homicide of the two carabinieri Antonino Fava e Vincent Garofalo, killed on January 18, 1994 on the highway, near the Scilla junction. During his deposition, the repentant reiterated what he had declared in 2021 to the deputy prosecutor Joseph Lombard. And, in particular, of having “personally” witnessed a summit that took place in 1978-1979, after theMoro murderin the countryside of the Piana di Gioia Tauro, “near the citrus grove of a certain Peppe Piccolo”.

Responding to the Attorney General’s questions, the collaborator of justice explained that his father Dominic Bruzzese he spent the in the run in that place where he went to bring him newspapers and bread. One day, with his father, there were other bosses of the caliber of Peppe Piromalli: “There was a certain excitement – ​​recalled Bruzzese who was then a teenager in the classroom – What I was able to understand was the arrival of some important subject. I saw two very distinct people arrive who in that place, by the way they were dressed, attracted my attention. They both had the same overcoat and the same hat, the kind of hat that the American gangstersBorsalino type. So they were elegant clothesthey were well dressed. Except that the taller one was Bettino Craxi, a person I had already seen and recognized. Peppe Piromalli goes to meet him. Going to meet the lowest subject, he says these words to him: ‘Silvio Berlusconi, how are you?’. Peppe Piromalli was practically already known with Silvio Berlusconi and Craxi was also introduced to him there “.

The presence of Berlusconi and Craxi with the bosses of the ‘Ndrangheta was not never found in the investigation, but the collaborator of justice not only remembers the gangster hat worn by the two politicians with the overcoat, but even the smile of the leader of Forza Italia: “What struck me – he added during the hearing – is the smile of Berlusconi, a 32-tooth smile. I have never forgotten that historical context despite all these years having gone by”. A premise that provided assistance to the assistant prosecutor Lombardo to ask another question: “When you start the process of collaboration with justice, do you immediately talk about this event? Because I have here I have a verbal of February 25, 2004 in which you refer to Bettino Craxi together with another character whose name you do not mention. Today you tell us that he is Silvio Berlusconi. Can you explain to me why there is this dystonia?”.

At this point, Bruzzese talks about the interrogation made at the time, in front of several detectives, in the barracks of the carabinieri of Taurianova. Basically, when he began “to open up these topics” and “put in place that to my knowledge there were these facts”, Bruzzese “understood” that he had to stop talking. The repentant provides his version of the facts by naming the prosecutors who participated in that interrogation, arguing that one of the three magistrates “in a certain sense” even “attacked”: “Raising the tone of the voice, putting emphasiswhen I was describing details of the family Alvaro And Create, he made a kind of reproach. But with a lot of emphasis. At that moment I understood that I had to go no further”.

There is no trace of the “aggression” on the pentito in the minutes of the statements made on 25 February 2004 to the magistrates, among the most popular in the Reggio Calabria Public Prosecutor’s Officewhich twenty-six years later they should have verified whether in 1978 the socialist politician (who had been dead four years in Hammamet) had participated in the summit with the bosses of the ‘Ndrangheta together with “another character” who “I’m not able to recognise”. Rather, from that old report it emerges that the prosecutor indicated by the pentito as the magistrate who allegedly “attacked” him, in reality, was not present during the interrogation of February 25, 2004 and not even in the subsequent interrogation of March 23 of the same year when Bruzzese provided instead a different version regarding the presence of Craxi and of the character, whose name he did not mention, in the “citrus grove of a certain Peppe Piccolo”. At the time, the two politicians allegedly went to “negotiate the release of Aldo Moro”. Basically, “they wanted – Bruzzese said 18 years ago – that there was an intervention by the ‘Ndrangheta also Calabrian in favor of Aldo Moro with these terroristsRed Brigades”.

Returning to Monday’s hearing, the summit in which – according to the pentito – Craxi and Berlusconi with Peppe Piromalli would have participated is not the only one among those referred to by the repentant Bruzzese in the courtroom. During the interrogation, which lasted a couple of hours, in fact, the collaborator spoke of another meeting that also took place in the Piana di Gioia Tauro, inside the marquis’s laboratory of ornamental plants Fefe Zerbia character from Reggio who has repeatedly emerged in the investigations into the subversive right. It is a meeting that would have occurred shortly after the one in the citrus grove with Craxi. According to Bruzzese’s story, Fefé Zerbi “got very irritated” because a subject, Franco Pezzanoentered a room without even knocking and saw the characters who were with him.

Characters that Bruzzese has therefore not seen with his own eyes but that would have been indicated to him by Pezzano: “As Franco Pezzano said when he opened the door to the villa of Fefé Zerbi, there was Franco ColdPaul RomeoGeorge DeStefano and it seems to me that he also mentioned the name of Of the Chiaie. I don’t know who this Stefano Delle Chiaie was. I have no idea who these people were.” Also on this second meeting, at the moment, there are no matches. It will probably be understood more in the next hearing, scheduled for December 5, when the interrogation of the collaborator of justice will continue, who will still have to answer the questions of the pg Lombardo and those of the defence.

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