(from the correspondent Elvira Terranova) – Antonello Montante is not there. He stayed at home, in Asti, where he is obliged to stay, because he was in quarantine after being in contact with a positive at Covid. The former President of the industrialists, at the bar for criminal association aimed at corruption, aiding and abetting, disclosure of office secrecy and unauthorized access to the computer system, is not in the courtroom listening to the words of the Deputy Attorney General Giuseppe Lombardo who speaks of the ” Rising System “, which reiterates the accusations against the accused. The indictment in the appeal process against Montante, sentenced in first instance to fourteen years in prison for corruption, began in the late afternoon of today, before the Court of Appeal of Caltanissetta. He would have been at the center of the so-called “Rising System”, a spy network used to safeguard himself and hit opponents.
In the first instance, the gup of Caltanissetta Graziella Luparello issued a penalty greater than the request of the prosecutors. At the stand also the ex commander of the Guardia di Finanza of Caltanissetta Gianfranco Ardizzone, sentenced in the first instance to three years, the deputy police commissioner Marco De Angelis, sentenced to 4 years, the security manager of Confindustria and former policeman Diego Di Simone , sentenced to 6 years and 4 months and the commissioner Andrea Grassi, sentenced to one year and 4 months.
“Montante has been the immobile engine of a perverse mechanism of conquest and hidden management of power which, under the banner of an iconographic anti-mafia, has substantially occupied, through systematic corruption and refined dossier operations, many regional and national institutions” , wrote the Gup Luparello, in the reasons for the sentence that on May 14 two years ago sentenced Montante to 14 years in prison. The former head of Confindustria Sicilia, wrote the judge, had given birth “to a phenomenon that can be defined plastically not as a white mafia, but a transparent mafia, apparently devoid of tactile and visual consistency and therefore able to infiltrate, eluding the resistance of common measures “. At the beginning of the hearing, the deputy attorney general Giuseppe Lombardo, delegated by the attorney general of Catania, Roberto Saieva, takes the floor. The decision was taken following the abstention of the pg of Caltanissetta Lia Sava who, as deputy district attorney, had coordinated the investigation into Montante.
The reservations on some documentary productions have been dissolved
At the beginning of the hearing, which started late, the Court of Appeal, chaired by Andreina Occhipinti, side judges Giovanbattista Tona and Alessandra Giunta, after hearing the accusation and defense met in the Council Chamber to dissolve reservations on some document productions. The Court admitted some newspaper articles, produced by the defense of Antonello Montante. Some texts and the statements made by the former Sicilian regional councilor Marco Venturi, a former friend of Montante, and today one of his greatest accusers, were not allowed, during the process that is celebrated with the ordinary rite before the Court of Caltanissetta, in another part of the process. The pg Giuseppe Lombardo then began the indictment by talking about the preliminary issues, then moved on to discuss the positions of two policemen: the Chief of Police Andrea Grassi and the former inspector Diego Di Simone. Montante’s position, the most complex one, will be dealt with last, in tomorrow’s hearing.
For Andrea Grassi, the prosecution asked for confirmation of the sentence to one year and 4 months but with generic extenuating circumstances, therefore a reduction of the sentence, from one year and four months to ten months and twenty days. The pg asked for generic extenuating circumstances for Grassi because, the accusation remarked, “he was extraneous to the Montante system” and “was not animated by any desire to favor the system”. In particular, the prosecution explained the judge of the GUP shares on the motivations of Grassi, who today works in a Department of the Interior Ministry. On May 14, 2019, after the first degree conviction, Grassi, who was Quaestor in Vibo Valentia, was forced to leave his post and move to Rome, at the disposal of the Interior Ministry. “The Chief of Police asked me to step back – Grassi said at the time -. For the good of the institution, I am going to do three”, he added, regretting the outcome of the affair and having to interrupt the “profitable work started. in Vibo “.
The lawyer of the commissioner Grassi ‘Reduction on penalty of a sop, he is innocent’
“It is a sop, which certifies the absolute and overt morality of Dr. Grassi’s conduct, also recognized by the sentence, which, however, absolutely does not satisfy us. It would have been necessary and right to go all the way and affirm his innocence. We trust him to do so. the Court “, the lawyer Cesare Placanica, of the Court of Rome, lawyer of the police commissioner Andrea Grassi, tells Adnkronos after the General Prosecutor of Caltanissetta requested the reduction of the sentence for the police officer accused in the appeal process on ‘Riser System’.
While for the former policeman Diego Di Simone no extenuating circumstances. The prosecution asked for confirmation of the sentence of 6 years and 4 months for the former inspector of the Palermo mobile team, who had become the head of security of the Industrialists’ association. The pg explained during the indictment that, according to the accusation, the former councilor Marco Venturi, would be “credible”. As well as Alfonso Cicero, the latter took a civil action. Last March, during an interrogation, Di Simone, assisted by the lawyer Marcello Montalbano, defended himself by saying: “I never accessed the SDI. I didn’t even have a password. I turned to Commissioner Marco De Angelis and in turn it was him to take action “. And again: “It was Confindustria who asked me to gather information and I turned to De Angelis. An activity that fell within the scope of the legality protocols that were signed by Confindustria with various institutions and on the appointments that were made”.
The indictment will continue tomorrow morning, at 9.30 am, with the positions of the other three defendants: Colonel of the Guardia di Finanza Gianfranco Ardizzone and Deputy Commissioner Marco De Angelis, as well as Montante. That will be the longest part of the indictment. And he, the former powerful leader of the Sicilian industrialists, will not be there.