Passionate Mafiosi one and all

Passionate Mafiosi one and all - Marco Travaglio

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Good day to you all. Today we’re going to talk about an old affair that dates back to 1989, 21 years ago, namely the failed attack at Addaura on Giovanni Falcone and the two Swiss Guards that were working with him on that day at the seaside home that Falcone had rented for the summer. However let’s first look back at what we thought almost precisely one year ago today.

State, dual State and suchlike
On the 9th May 2009, during the course of the Day of Remembrance celebrations in honour of the victims of terrorism and murder, State President Napolitano said some very true things regarding the role, the connivance and the misleading of the State apparatus in an attempt to derail the investigations into a number of the most shady mysteries of our recent history. He also said something else, which I and many others thought was very wrong at the time, namely that: this democratic Country of ours, precisely because it has always remained a democratic state and because we have always lived here, is not some sort of imaginary dual State, but one that bears the burden of the incomplete truth. At which point, in “Il Corriere della Sera”, Deputy Editor Pierluigi Battista said at the time that the Head of State had finally quashed the idea of the dual State and he proceeded to list all the historians that had instead always maintained that, in Italy, the State had never limited itself to the official, public version of events that we see in front of the sets on stage, but that it had always had a false bottom, behind the scenes, another State, a dual State that did the precise opposite of what the official State publicly proclaimed. While the State attended the public funerals for the victims of the murders, shedding tears, swearing to uncover the truth and promising to take a hard line against communist, fascist or Mafia subversion, behind the scenes there were actually certain State representatives that were concealing facts, derailing investigations, making evidence disappear, misleading the magistrates, etc.
We have never understood why the Head of State would classify the theory of a dual State as imaginary, or why the Corriere della Sera chose to take exception to the historians that raised the dual State theory based on the available evidence at hand and, I must say that what is emerging from Attilio Bolzoni’s scoop in “La Repubblica” regarding the behind the scenes involvement of the dual State in the attempted and purely coincidentally failed attack at Addaura against Giovanni Falcone, who should have died on that day, remains a mystery. Now, however, Bolzoni reveals that the Palermo Public Prosecutors Office is busy investigating another version, probably the most credible one to date, of that failed attack that should have resulted in the Falcone’s death some three years prior to the Capaci attack in May 1992, in other words, he should have died at Addaura on 21 June 1989.
But what really happened at Addaura? In order to figure that out, we need to go back to one year prior to the attack, to 1988, and what I’m saying is not speculation on my part but information contained in the final conviction ruling against Bruno Contrada, who was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for colluding with the Mafia. Contrada was the Chief at the Palermo Public Prosecutors Office, after which he headed up the Palermo anti-mafia high commissioner’s department and then he went to Rome to take up the No.3 position in SISDE (the Civilian secret services). He was a career police officer who spent the majority of his career in Palermo. All around him, the best officers of the Palermo Police’s anti-mafia unit were assassinated, yet he was never even injured and, according to the judges that convicted him, he was never even injured simply because he was one of the Mafia kingpins operating within the very police force that should have been fighting the mafia. He was, therefore, one of the men of the dual State that was colluding with the Mafia instead of fighting against it.
In that same Contrada ruling, we also find the story of Oliviero Tognoli. But who was he? He was a professional who, according to Falcone who was investigating this man, was responsible for laundering Mafia money at that time. At a certain point, Tognoli, who was under investigation not only in Italy but also in Switzerland where he was laundering dirty Mafia money and later also convicted on drug trafficking charges, fled just before he was due to be arrested. He managed to flee in 1988 because some well-placed informant warned him about what was going to happen, namely that he was due to be arrested. This informant phoned Tognoli while he was staying at the Hotel Ponte in Palermo and warned him that Falcone had issued an arrest warrant against him, so he fled.
He was subsequently caught in 1988, just a few months after his escape, at which point he confided in the Swiss policemen that had captured him, namely Chief Constable Clemente Gioia and Police Inspector Enrico Mazzacchi. He told Gioia that the tip-off that led to his escape came from someone of his same rank, in other words someone at the same level as Chief Constable Gioia another policeman, but he refused to say anything more..
A few months later, on 3 February 1989, Tognoli was jointly questioned by the Italian and Swiss judges, by Carla Del Ponte, the famous Carla Del Ponte, representing the Swiss judges and Public Prosecutor Giuseppe Ayala and Examining Magistrate Giovanni Falcone representing the Palermo judges.
During the course of Contrada’s trial, Ms. Del Ponte told the Court what happened at Tognoli’s questioning session, and her version of the events was later confirmed by Giuseppe Fiala. She stated that she and Messrs. Fiala and Falconi sat on one side of the table and the recently arrested Tognoli sat opposite them on the other side of the table.
Ms. Del Ponte states that, after all the statements had been taken down, while Tognoli was walking out, Falcone went up to the man to greet him and asked him who had warned him about him impending arrest so that he could escape in time. Tognoli didn’t want to answer and became evasive, so then Giovanni Falcone mentioned a name, Bruno Contrada, and said: “Was it Contrada? This shows just what Falcone thought of Contrada, and this well before he was eventually arrested at Caselli’s request and subsequently convicted. So Falcone asked Tognoli “Was it Contrada” and, looking at both of us, Tognoli answered “yes”, nodding his head. Then Falcone immediately said that: This has to be officially recorded. We have to sit down again and re-open the report because this is a crime that has been committed by a senior police officer working for the secret services who is being accused by a mafia money launderer of allowing him to escape. Tognoli refused. He was not prepared to put Contrada’s name on the official record. Ms. Del Ponte states that Tognoli was afraid, so she said: okay, we’ll discuss this issue later this afternoon, obviously because the questioning would have had to resume that same afternoon.
At that point, Tognoli spoke to his Attorney who, according to the other Swiss police officer, officer Mazzacchi, confirmed to Falcone that Contrada was indie the mole, so first Tognoli and then his Attorney confirmed to Falcone that the mole was none other than Bruno Contrada.
However, just three months later, on the 8th of May to be precise, Tognoli recanted, claiming that it was his broche Mauro who had warned him of the impending arrest, but obviously the Contrada trial judges chose to rather believe the earlier version of events, as told by Ms. Del Ponte, and Messrs. Fiala, Mazzacchi and Gioia, This was also due to the fact that two months later there was the failed attack at Addaura. But precisely what happened at Addaura? In the seaside villa rented for the holidays by Falcone and his wife, Francesca ?Morvillo?, Falcone received a visit from Carla Del Ponte, another Swiss judge named Leman and police officer Gioia, who had come down to talk to him about the investigation concerning Tognoli and others’ money laundering activities on behalf of the Mafia.
The Mafia had planted 75 sticks of explosive on the rocks directly in front of the house, but then, at a certain point, before they could trigger this huge explosion that would have destroyed everything in sight and that would surely have killed Del Ponte, Falcone, Leman and the police officers, fortunately the bomb was discovered and defused, also because someone had spotted a suspicious canoe at sea with a number of people in it, which then moved away.

Contrada and the failed attempt on Falcone’s life
The judges that eventually convicted Contrada write that Falcone notified the Public Prosecutors Office of Caltanissetta, which was responsible for investigating the attack. Such investigations concerning attacks against magistrates are never conducted by the intended victims’ own office, but always by the neighbouring Public Prosecutors Office and so the attack on Falcone was being investigated by the Public Prosecutors Office of Caltanissetta. The prosecutors of Caltanissetta therefore interviewed Falcone sometime between 1989 when the attack occurred and 1992 when Falcone was eventually killed in the successful attack. Falcone went to Caltanissetta to testify and told the prosecutors investigating the crime about, and here I’m reading from the actual ruling against Contrada, the possible motives behind the attack at Addaura and about the investigations that he was busy with together with his Swiss colleagues who were in Palermo on the very day of the attack, namely del Ponte, Leman and police officer Gioia. He also mentioned the possibility that the aforesaid investigations could result in certain repercussions on the institutions. Falcone linked the attack to the institutions and not to the Mafia and he specifically stated that Tognoli, the money launderer, had told the whole truth about his links with the Sicilian Mafia and the disturbing facts regarding his escape from Palermo. But who were these “institutions” precisely? The Police Forces. In their written ruling, the judges that convicted Contrada on appeal stated that they agreed with the observation made by the judges at the initial trial, namely that there was no doubt whatsoever that Contrada’s intervention in favour of Tognoli was an extremely serious matter and was entirely in keeping with the charges outlined in prosecution’s case, and that Contrada’s behaviour in favour of the Cosa Nostra, whereby he made illegal use of information at his disposal as a result of his position within the institutions in order to warn Tognoli about his impending arrest, thus enabling the timeous escape of Tognoli, who was a precious agent of the Cosa Nostra in terms of laundering the dirty proceeds of the organisation’s drug trafficking money, this much we know. However, Falcone also believed that the Addaura attack displayed all the hallmarks of the institutions and was perhaps related to the investigations that he was busy conducting into Tognoli and the fact that Tognoli had told him that the person who had told him to run was indeed Bruno Contrada, a high placed member of the Police Force, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the forces of law and order and eventually even the Sisde.
So why am I mentioning all of this? Well, because it appears that we have forgotten all about Contrada, as if we have forgotten that every now and again some individual within the institutions who decides to collude with the Mafia does indeed get caught, found guilty, sentenced and then gets forgotten by everyone. At this time, we talk a lot about Addaura, but many people forget all about Contrada, about what Falcone thought of the man and about what happened immediately before his arrest, namely Tognoli’s escape, followed by Tognoli’s half-hearted admission that the one who allowed him to escape was none other than Contrada himself. Contrada has been released from prison due to illness, so he is not serving his sentence even thug he was finally convicted of having committed a crime.
Now let’s take a look at the latest novelty, which no one has bothered to mention even though it is indeed a novelty and, even though it is indelibly recorded amongst the final convictions, no one seems to know about it and everyone forgets about it because Contrada has always been defended by the Senior members of the Municipal Police Forces, the politicians, etc.
According to Attilio Bolzani’s reconstruction of the facts based on the investigations being conducted by the Palermo magistrates, these novelties are absolutely sensational.
In the interim, it has been revealed that the bomb on the rocks, those 75 sticks of explosive pace into a bag, was not planted on those rocks on the morning of 21 June, namely the day it was discovered and just before it was set to explode, but indeed the morning before, namely on 20 June. In and of itself, this is not of any major importance, except for the fact that this bag pace with explosives lay there on the rocks in front of Giovanni Falcone’s house for more than a day.
It appears that there were in fact two separate groups hanging out in front of Falcone’s villa on that day: there was one group on land, not out at sea, a Mafia commando team consisting of members of the Acqua Santa clan who were hiding on the other side, behind the house, together with some secret service officers. It was they that wanted Falcone dead and had therefore placed the bag containing the sticks of explosive by land.
The second group was out at sea in a canoe, watching from some distance away, probably using binoculars, in order to watch what was happening on the shoreline. There were two divers, wearing diving suits, keeping an eye on what was going on. It was initially believed that this group was there to support the other, however, it now appears that these two divers were there to prevent Falcone’s murder, a shining example of the dual State. On the one hand we have Police divers in a canoe, trying to prevent the attack and, although they are aware that the attack has already been launched, they will do everything in their power to prevent it while, on the other hand, we have secret service agents and mafia members, in other words the State and the Anti-state, working hand in hand to place that bag of dynamite and set it to kill Falcone. The State, the dual State and the Anti-State, the Mafia, it’s all there in that scene offshore and on land..
Who were those two divers? Although the identity of those two divers in the canoe out at sea has never been positively confirmed, according to Bolzoni’s reconstruction they were two police officers named Antonino Agostino and Emanuele Piazza, who had an official job to do but were unofficially charged with other duties. In other words they were police officers operating in the shadows, perhaps on behalf of the secret services or perhaps because they had certain other borderline illegal duties other than their officially acknowledged and defined ones.
Agente Agostino, who was officially attached to the San Lorenzo Police Station in Palermo, was apparently working undercover to capture members of the mafia in hiding. After the failed Addaura attack on the 21st June, Agent Agostino didn’t last very long. On the 5th August that same year, in other words only one and a half months after the foiled attack, Agostino was killed, together with his wife Ida. The identity of the assassins has never been discovered. The people that frequent Palermo and the anti-mafia meetings will have met Agostino’s father, his name is Vincenzo Agostino, a man with a very long beard who has vowed not to shave again until such time as justice has been done for the murder of his son and daughter-in-law..

Mr. Riina also warrants further investigation
Who killed Agent Agostino and his wife? Not even Mr. Riina knew who it was that killed them, so much so that he ordered an internal investigation, The Mafia controls certain areas and whenever anyone gets killed on their turf, and they don’t know who ordered the hit, they are caught off-guard because they normally have the right to know who can be killed and who not, so they usually make every attempt to find out who committed the murder. Therefore, Riina did order an internal investigation, however, according to Mafia turncoat Giovanbattista Ferrante, who was a member of the San Lorenzo clan, from the same area where the Police Station was that Agostino was attached to, not even Riina was able to find out anything about the murder of Agostino just 45 days after the attack at Addaura. Ferrante states that they later discovered that Agostino had been murdered because he was attempting to uncover the links between a number of senior members of the Palermo Police Station and the Mafia. His wife also knew who these people were, so they killed her too, even though, as you’re well aware, the Mafia normally won’t murder a woman without good reason, otherwise, in accordance with their age-old rules, they will spare her life . So she was killed because they believed that she also knew about the members of the Palermo Police Station’s collusion with the Mafia and, surprise surprise, Contrada also just happened to be working at the Palermo Police Station at the time.
The man was killed because he was about to reveal the mafia links with officers of the Palermo Police Station. A turncoat said this after even Riina’s investigations had failed to uncover the perpetrators, so obviously it was discovered that this was the motive behind the murders, as revealed by yet another state witness called Oreste Pagano.
The Palermo Flying squad that was busy following another clue with regard to Agostino’s murder were looking into the possibility that it was perhaps a crime of passion, which is a common way of derailing investigations, namely by saying that there were other women involved, an excuse used in the investigation of many crimes. However, these are merely red herrings aimed at sending the investigators on a wild goose chase, so no one ever really found out who murdered Agent Agostino. But who was the other diver? According to this latest reconstruction, he was a former policeman by the name of Emanuele Piazza. According to Bolzoni, Emanuele Piazza was a former policeman who had also begun to work with the secret services, for Sisde, the Police public secret services, to capture criminals in hiding. He too was killed shortly after the foiled attack at Addaura, on 15 March 1990, less than a year after the Addaura attack in the previous June. In other words, a mere 8 months after the assassination attempt at Addaura, the second diver in that canoe was also murdered, but why were both these men killed? We don’t know, but what we do know is that he too was murdered, he was strangled. As in the case of the Agostino murder, here too, the Flying squad investigations focussed on a crime of passion and concluded that he had run away from Palermo to follow his woman to Tunisia, which was yet another red herring. Two mysterious deaths, both immediately after the failed attack at Addaura, both crimes fobbed off as mere crimes of passion and then forgotten, so it is obvious that the intention was to conceal who and why two policemen that had been sitting a canoe just off Addaura, and obviously also because someone has something to hide with regard to Addaura. That something may just be the fact that these two policemen had discovered that some of the institutional bigwigs wanted to blow up Falcone and they rushed out to the spot by sea in the hope of being able to foil this attack, a hope that came true precisely because Falcone’s bodyguards, upon seeing these two making a fuss out at sea, decided to investigate and managed to defuse the bomb in time.
At the time of the initial investigation, the investigators obviously brought in the bathers that were there on the beachfront at Addaura, in an attempt to put a face to, or provide an identikit of these two people in the canoe, and identikit pictures were indeed drawn up, but we believe that these were never handed over to the Magistrature. Indeed, Bolzoni writes that these identikit pictures are nowhere to be found, have never been seen by anyone and now the magistrates are once again looking for them. Obviously they were trying to prevent these pictures leading anyone back to the people in the canoe, which would in turn have led the investigators back to the dual game that the State was playing, certain people trying to prevent an attack with certain others were perpetrating it.
However, this is not the end of the story, because there are also other witnesses to the Addaura affair that landed up being killed in addition to the two policemen that we have already mentioned, namely . Piazza and Agostino, and obviously also in addition to Falcone. Another fitness who was murdered was Francesco Paolo Gaeta, a minor league mafioso from Acqua Santa who, on the day of the failed attack at Addaura, just happened to notice the movements of certain Cosa Nostra members, and not only around Falcone’s house either. Shortly after the failed attack at Addaura, Gaeta was also shot to death and this event was fobbed off as being a turf was between drug dealers. He was not a Mafioso, but merely a second rate petty criminal. But hang on, there was also Luigi Ilardo, who also died in mysterious circumstances. But who is this Luigi Ilardo? We spoke about him when we first spoke about the trial that is taking place in Palermo involving against two ROS agents, namely Mori and Obinu, who are accused of aiding and abetting the Mafia because, notwithstanding the fact that mafia turncoat Ilardo had pointed out to Colonel Michele Riccio the precise location where Bernardo Provenzano was hiding out back in 1995, the men of the ROS failed to go and capture Provenzano, and now this trial is being enriched by the testimony of Cancimino’s son and many other new witnesses, all of whom are helping to create the impression that Provenzano had become untouchable, precisely because it appears that he had put the Carabinieri of the ROS onto Riina and was therefore being regarded as untouchable in the eyes of the ROS and the Carabinieri.
But what does Luigi Ilardo have to do with the Addaura affair? In his confession to Colonel Riccio, who had eventually managed to convince him to collaborate with the justice system, in other words to become a state witness and enter the witness protection programme by putting everything down on paper and drafting a written statement detailing everything that he had earlier only mentioned in confidence, but he was killed just a few days before his status as state fitness was confirmed. However, Riccio had already noted down Ilario’s statement in a notebook, which provided sufficient grounds for Colonels Mori and Obinu to be remanded for trial. Inter alia, what had Ilario told Colonel Riccio? He told him that: we knew that there was an agent that was doing strange things in Palermo. He was always being seen in strange places, . He had the face of a monster. We then found out that he had been in the vicinity of Villa Grazia at around the time when police officer Agostino was murdered.
So he knew that, at the scene of the murder of a policeman who had been on the canoe off Addaura, there was a member of the Police or secret services, an agent that was doing strange things and that looked like a monster, a pockmarked face, a very ugly, menacing looking man with a pockmarked face. This man with a face like a monster also resurfaces in the stories told by others, some of these even referring to a certain Mister Franco or Mister Carlo who, according to Ciancimino’s son, was like a shadow to his father, Vito Ciancimino, because he was charged with protecting and watching over Vito Ciancimino and, as such, he even participated in the negotiations held in 1992 between Ciancimino and the ROS. So, on one side of the table sat Mafia bosses Riina and Provenzano and on the other side sat this Mister Carlo or Mister Franco, whose exact identity we’re trying to establish, even though, with Massimo Ciancimino’s help, the Magistrates have probably already managed to put a name and surname to the face.

Anti-State murders
So Agent Agostino is murdered in August 1989 and, as Salvo Palazzolo writes in “La Repubblica”: “immediately after his murder, a number of agents arrived at his home, together with some other men who were not agents, but strange men nonetheless - remembers Agostino’s father – and they were very interested in what he kept at home”, but why? Because when Agostino died, his father went to his house and upon seeing his son’s blood spattered body he pulled out his son’s wallet, in which he found a handwritten note by Agostino stating:: “If anything should happen to me, go and look in my wardrobe in the bedroom”. We don’t know who may have searched through that wardrobe, nor do we know what they may have found, but we do know that Agent Agostino’s house was searched and if anything was indeed found, it was never entered into evidence, but was instead made to disappear and there is no mention whatsoever of what was found in that famous wardrobe, no inventory list in the inquest docket and the report on the search does not mention what was found. In addition, Agente Agostino’s father also remembers that, just 20 days before his son’s death, a man with the face of a monster had asked after his son’s whereabouts. He had a face that was scarred by smallpox, a face like a horse and blondish hair and a physical presence like that which you come across in many mystery stories, so naturally the newspapers latched onto things like the monster-like face. Perhaps he was just a rather ugly guy.
What we do know for sure is that after the Agostino murder, someone took it upon himself to make some stuff disappear from the wardrobe, something that had been important enough to cause Agent Agostino to leave a note in his wallet saying: should anything happen to me, look there, and furthermore, if he wrote: should anything happen to me, then obviously Agent Agostino must have suspected that his life was probably in danger.
This is what we don’t know and now even the Parliamentary anti-mafia Committee has gotten involved, that useless body that is being kept alive for heaven alone knows what reason. Even the Cop sir, has become involved, which is chaired by Dalia as opposed to the anti-mafia Committee, which is chaired by Pisano, merely in the interests of clarity … so they suddenly discover that the Italian secret services are involved in some of the mysterious affairs of Italy, of the Mafia and affairs of State and they now begin to take an interest, they ask to see the paperwork, even Veltroni in now involved and although, unfortunately, over the years a number of other know-it-alls have become completely disinterested in matters such as this. Every now and then they read about something in the newspapers and discover something that they could meddle in, however, I believe that they should be kept at a safe distance so that the Magistrature can get on with its work.
I must say that the more we discover about these behind the scenes activities, the more we begin to believe the theory of the dual State that our esteemed Head of State so hastily labelled as imaginary just a year ago. We probably have a political class that knows many things, hides many of them and lives in fear that these events may one day be brought out into the open, given that they are currently once again breaking all the bounds of monolithic solidarity with the poker that be. So there is ample opportunity for someone to stand up and tell the truth, to talk about past events and we therefore get the feeling that this may be the beginning of a period of disclosure. It is enough to create a small opening, many of us have said so, a tiny crack is enough to let in a few rays of light!

The Addaura affair, which apparel to be dead and buried, is indeed linked to the Capaci attack, which was unfortunately successful, and to the attack linked to the negotiations that took place immediately thereafter, namely the murder of Borsellino, who was aware that the State and the Mafia were busy negotiating, so he was murdered and removed as a potential hindrance to the negotiations. Then the murders of the 1993, which led to the establishment of the Second Republic. There is also a clear link between all these events and continues until today because our Second Republic was born of those times and those mysteries and, it seems very clear to me that any Country that doesn’t know its origins or those of its institutions is a very sad place. Fortunately we still have investigators, magistrates and journalists that want to shed more light on those mysteries. We will most certainly continue to keep an eye on everything, we’ll continue to follow these events so, for the time being, spread the word!

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 02:49 PM in | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | listen_it_it.gifListen |
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When Alex Gibney's documentary "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" is shown in Italy, go see it. It's about "free marketeers" who believe wealth gives them special rights. Thus, they arrogate for themselves the right to buy anything and anybody including government officials and politicians. They feel they're a divine special class guided by an invisible hand spinning the world around. The documentary's "hero" (Anemone's idol?) is Jack Abramoff: a conservative, Republican, crackjack lobbiest who has the the ears of powerful men in Congress, the Senate and the White House and men such as President Bush Jr., Majority House leader Tom Delany, Karl Rove (to name a few and show their calibre) and a host of politicians from both sides of the aisle. Abramoff is the kind of guy who would sell his mother for a million bucks, as they say. He bribes, gambles and befriends the "mob" when necessary. He says he is a "radical conservative" and rabid anti-communist. He became friends with Angolan's war criminal Jonas Savimbi and sided with apatheid South Africa. He believes the end justifies the means. His mission is to sow corruption made and facilated by lassaize-faire capitalism. He showered his clients and politicians with free golf trips to Scotland, extravagant meals at a fancy restaurant he had built for the purpose, special services, free tickets to sport events and whatever else was needed to hook them on lavish life styles. The documentary shows that corruption and misgovernment doesn't just happen and are not the products of one corruptor or a "bad apple", but it's the consequence of a government using political institutions for personal gains while perverting capitalism by making the market the be all and end all of society where tax-evaders can be tolerated. But the first sign of a neo-liberal government and lassaize-faire capitalism is the air of swaggering truculance displayed by its political leaders as in the case of the John Wayne walking-style displayed by Bush and the gangster-style fedora worn by Abramoff, now in jail.

Posted by: louis Pacella | May 12, 2010 02:53 AM

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