Capaci, 31 years of trials in search of the truth

“Gioè tells me go, go, that is, he tells me 3 times, the third time I activate the remote control”. It is the former boss of San Giuseppe Jato Giovanni Brusca who tells the magistrates about the moments that preceded the Capaci massacre. It was March 28, 1997 and the ex-executioner, who in the meantime had become a collaborator with justice and today a free man, thus responded to prosecutor Luca Tescaroli during the first instance trial for the massacre to explain how he had caused the massive explosion that produced the massacre of Capaci, by activating the remote control, procured by the expert bomb squad Pietro Rampulla. The explosion, as established through the revelation of the National Institute of Geophysics of the Monte Cammarata station, takes place a few moments before 17.58. The Caltanissetta trial is just one of the many trials for the Capaci massacre, which claimed the lives of judge Giovanni Falcone, his wife Francesca Morvillo and three escort agents, Antonio Montinaro, Vito Schifani and Rocco Dicillo. The last, in chronological order, is still in progress. 31 years after the massacre. And the next hearing will be held in two days, on May 25, in the bunker room of the Malaspina prison in Caltanissetta. There is only one defendant: Matteo Messina Denaro, the last scared primrose arrested on January 16 after 30 years on the run.

The boss, detained in L’Aquila, could appear for the first time, via video link. The last hearing gave up after his trusted lawyer, Lorenza Guttadauro, who is also the granddaughter of the boss, decided to give up the job. And after another lump sum, that of the lawyer Calogero Montante, who presented the medical certificate after receiving threats over the telephone, a young public defender, Adriana Vella, was chosen. “I’m not afraid to defend Matteo Messina Denaro, for me he is a defendant like all the others. I’m calm”, he said last March 23 at the end of the hearing to Adnkronos, even if his hands and trembling voice had betrayed his words. After two consecutive waivers, the mafia boss detained in L’Aquila now has a defender. Even if it’s official. It will be she, Adriana Vella of the Caltanissetta court, who will have to make the discussion in the appeal process which sees the Castelvetrano mafia boss accused of the mafia massacres of ’92 in which the judges Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone were killed. In the first instance, Messina Denaro was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The investigative input was provided by the pentito Giuseppe Marchese

But how did the first trials on the massacre arise? The investigative input that made it possible to reconstruct the preparatory and executive phase of the massacre, which occurred close to the Capaci motorway junction, was provided by Giuseppe Marchese, in September 1992, the day after the start of his collaboration. He told the prosecutors to look for Gioacchino La Barbera, Antonino Gioè and a certain Santino Mezzanasca to identify those responsible. The consequent investigative activity against them made it clear that La Barbera and Gioè were living clandestinely in an apartment in via Ughetti, at number no. 17, in Palermo and allowed to identify Mezzanasca in Mario Santo di Matteo. The re-listening, in May 1993, of the intercepted conversations made it possible to understand that, from 0.40 to 1.55 on 9 March 1992, La Barbera addressed Gioè, telling him to indicate a given place: “Do you remember a carruzzerivicinu uni waited for ddocu, ddocu to Capaci uni ci fici (or ci ficimu) the coltatuni”. Evidence “heavy as boulders” converged on these findings, as prosecutor Luca Tescaroli said, “suitable for resisting past and present misdirection attempts – a significant part consisting of the strictly verified confessions of eight men of honor who participated in the crime” .

Numerous life sentences, but there are still many obscure points on the massacre. To verify whether a convergence of interests of “additional subjects extraneous to the mafia association in the conception and execution of the massacre of the early 1990s” can be demonstrated on a procedural level. As the Court of Caltanissetta recently wrote in another important trial, the one on the misdirection of Borsellino. And, in particular, with reference to the Capaci massacre, some questions remain open and the following unclarified aspects remain. How come Paolo Bellini met with the perpetrator of the Capaci massacre Antonino Gioè and why did he instill the intention to strike the Leaning Tower of Pisa? The reasons and methods of Antonino Gioè’s death on 29 July 1993, following the attacks in the cities of Rome and Milan on 27-28 July 1993 have remained unclear. Why and by whom were some of Giovanni Falcone’s computer media tampered with? Many questions. Unanswered, after 31 years.

In 2022 the Cassation sentenced four mafiosi to life imprisonment

In 2022 the Court of Cassation sentenced to life imprisonment the four mafiosi accused of having taken part in the organization of the massacre and of having found the explosive that gutted the motorway to Palermo and inaugurated the massacre and subversive season of Cosa Nostra. The life sentences for Salvatore Madonia, Giorgio Pizzo, Cosimo Lo Nigro and Lorenzo Tinnirello have thus become definitive. And Vittorio Tutino’s acquittal has also become definitive. The supreme judges rejected all the appeals of the defense, as also requested by the Prosecutor of Cassation represented by the Pg Delia Cardia, who underlined the close coordination with the Attorney General Giovanni Salvi in ​​defining the indictment. Therefore, Vittorio Tutino, the “mafia soldier”, as Cardia defined him, will not return to trial, always released from the trial despite the fact that Gaspare Spatuzza, the repentant who revealed the misdirections in the investigations, spoke of his “activism” in the season of the bombs on the attack on Paolo Borsellino and his escort. In 2008 the Cassation condemned the instigators of the Capaci massacre – the ‘gotha’ of Cosa Nostra – and the material executors, including Giovanni Brusca, who operated the remote control. The verdict on Capaci bis therefore closes the circle. However, Pg Cardia had argued that “in the acquittal of Tutino there was a total loss of logic in the method used on the part of the appeal sentence, a path entirely of facade was followed”.

What triggered the plan that led to Falcone’s death decided by Cosa Nostra between 1982 and 1986 was the final passage of the sentences of the maxi trial, an initial army of 471 mafia defendants, ratified by the Cassation on January 30, 1992. in a few days, the judges will come face to face with the boss of bosses Matteo Messina Denaro. Will talk? (by Elvira Terranova)