The Night of the Republic

photo of Star Estrella

I’ve received a letter from Marco Travaglio.

"Dear Beppe,
I would like to tell all the friends of the Blog about the latest news item in a long series of ones that disappeared.
On 15 May 2007 the Third Appeal Court in Milan sentenced the Forza Italia Senator Marcello Dell’Utri and the boss of the mafia in Trapani, Vincenzo Virga to two years each for attempted extortion . No newspaper, apart from  l’Unità and il Corriere della sera, wrote about this. No TV News nor TV programme, apart from Annozero, said anything. ANSA, to avoid anyone noticing, dedicated just 7 and a half lines to the news, with this headline that takes you off the mark: Sponsorisations: confirmed on appeal the conviction of  Dell’Utri”. As though the crime had been Sponsorisation.
In the text it explains (that’s a way of saying) that the extortion related to imprecise “ways of sponsoring Basket Ball in Trapani”. As for Virga, ANSA “forgot” to explain that he is a mafia boss, very near to Provenzano, arrested in 2001 after being on the run for a long time and sentenced to life imprisonment for mafia and for homicide.
I will give a brief summary of the facts. In 1990 the president of the Trapani Basket Ball team, Vincenzo Garraffa, a doctor and later to be a deputy with the PRI, was looking for a sponsor for his team that had just been promoted to the A2 division.
Publitalia, the Fininvest concessionaire, led by Dell’Utri, put him in contact with Dreher-Heineken.
A contract is signed: for 1,500,000,000 lire, the players will have the logo of “Birra Messina”, on their shirts. This is the Italian brand of the German multinational. Garraffa pays the commission to Publitalia: 170,000,000.
But two executives of the Berlusconian concessionaire knock on the door and ask for a further 530,000,000 under the table.
In practice, Publitalia wants back half the value of the sponsorship obviously under the table. Garraffa refuses and at the beginning of 1992, he meets up with Dell’Utri in Milan.
He explains that he doesn’t have slush funds and that he cannot pay out without an invoice. Dell’Utri (as denounced by Garraffa) threatens him: “Think about it, we have men and means to convince you to pay”. Garraffa does not pay.
And a few weeks later, at the hospital of which he is the lead, he receives an unforgettable visit:  from the mafia boss Vincenzo Virga, escorted by a body guard. Virga has few words: “I am charged by Marcello Dell’Utri and by other friends to see how it is possible to resolve the Publitalia problem.” Garraffa replies: “Without an invoice, I don’t intend to pay.” And Virga: “I understand. I will pass on the information. If there’s anything new, I will come back to you…”
The following year, even though it is successful, the Basket Ball team finds no sponsor. Garraffa invents an antimafia self-sponsorship, obviously free, with the slogan “L’Altra Sicilia” {the other Italy}.
That brings good luck and the team is promoted to the A division. Maurizio Costanzo invites him and his players to talk on the “Costanzo Show”, on Canale5.
But then, at the last moment, he changes his mind and calls off the invitation. Garraffa sees the influence of  Dell’Utri . And he denounces everything to the magistrates in Palermo.
Who send the case to the Milan Tribunal as the body with the jurisdiction.  Here Dell’Utri and Virga are convicted of aggravated attempted extortion and sentenced to two years each. The other day the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction.
Now there’s only the Court of Cassation that’s missing. Dell’Utri anyway has been convicted and sentenced to two years for false invoicing in other puffed up sponsorship and in the first degree to 9 years for external collaboration in mafia association.
Naturally, considering his pedigree, he is staying with two firm feet in Parliament and is publicly praised for his “intelligence” by the people in the DS D’Alema faction like Nicola Latorre (who has nothing to do with Pio La Torre, killed by the mafia)  and is obsequiously interviewed by newspapers and TV, the font of  human knowledge, on anything but his convictions.
As Daniele Luttazzi reminds us in his latest show, Daria Bignardi has recently invited him to “Invasioni barbariche” on La7 and preceded it straight away with “We won’t talk of your trials”. Dell’Utri, understandably had no objections. In fact he added that his preferred journalist is Luca Sofri. Who, surprise surprise is the husband of Bignardi. There you go, it’s better never to talk of Dell’Utri’s trials. The senator has men and means to convince you.”

Marco Travaglio

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 03:44 PM in | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | listen_it_it.gifListen | TrackBack (0) |
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"Rotten shit"??

So normal shit smells good then? Nice one.

Anyway I agree with you though I do happen to live in italy.
Ill leave it with a small "I" though; it doesn’t deserve a capital "I" anymore

I had hoped that with prodi things would change but it’s the same old same old once again.

I read this morning that in Italy’s workplaces there have been more deaths than in the gulf war!!! Wow.

Italy’s roads are the most dangerous in Europe. Well done Italians.

and another thing....

I have an idea that would make italian roads safer. Paint over all the zebra crossings!!!! Get rid of them.
Cars don’t stop at them anyway. The most you can expect is for them to swerve round you. If you’re lucky that is. There have been 10 pedestrians killed in Milan on zebra crossings.??!!

Anyone considering suicide should come to Milan and ride their bike around the city. They’ll be killed sooner or later.. Probably sooner.

Posted by: pat kerr | May 23, 2007 12:57 PM

nice blog well done beppe


Posted by: shazad mirza | May 23, 2007 02:17 AM

Now a lot of people can understand why I get mad whenever I'm asked if one day I will go back to Italy.

My nose has evolved.
It cannot bear to smell rotten shit anymore.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | May 22, 2007 06:57 PM

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