Judge Falcone’s killer released after 25 years in prison, the country in shock

A scales, symbol of justice (photo illustration). – Jean-Francois Badias / AP / SIPA

The early release of Giovanni Brusca, convicted in particular of the 1992 assassination of the famous Sicilian anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, caused a shock in Italy on Tuesday. The news was on the front page of every newspaper in the country.

Giovanni Brusca, 64, was released on Monday for good behavior from the Roman prison of Rebibbia after 25 years behind bars, a period during which he had agreed to collaborate with the authorities. However, he will remain under probation for four years.

400 kg of explosives under the judge’s car

“Liberation of Brusca, the cruelest boss,” headlined the newspaper La Republicca. “Humanly it is news that pains me, but it is the law, a law wanted by my brother and which must be respected”, reacted the sister of Judge Falcone, Maria, quoted by the daily.

It was Giovanni Brusca who in 1992 operated the remote control which detonated a bomb containing 400 kg of explosives under the judge’s car near Palermo, killing Giovanni Falcone, his wife, and three bodyguards. The wife of one of them, Tina Montinaro said she was “indignant”: “The State is against us, 29 years later we still do not know the truth and (…) the man who destroyed my family is free ”.

Hundreds of recognized murders

Brusca, one of the closest collaborators of Toto Riina, the head of Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia, was arrested on May 20, 1996. After his arrest, he had agreed to collaborate with justice and to testify at numerous trial. According to Italian media, he admitted to having participated in hundreds of murders.

This bloodthirsty boss had also kidnapped in 1993 the little Giuseppe Di Matteo, the 12-year-old son of a repentant. After two years of kidnapping in unspeakable conditions, he was strangled and his body dissolved in acid, an act of revenge against his father who had agreed to collaborate with justice. According to the police, it is “one of the most heinous crimes in the history of Cosa Nostra”.

The political class in shock

His release was criticized by many political leaders, on the right and on the left. The leader of the Democratic Party (PD, center-left) Enrico Letta described it as “a punch in the stomach (which) leaves you speechless, one wonders how it is possible”.

“It is impossible to believe that a criminal like Brusca could deserve any favor. His release from prison gives chills, ”commented ex-President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, national coordinator of Forza Italia, the party of Silvio Berlusconi (right). “A person who committed these acts, who dissolved a child in acid, who killed Falcone, is in my opinion a wild beast and cannot get out of prison”, reacted for his part the leader of the League ( far right) Matteo Salvini.

 
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