Italian right-wing government persecutes anti-mafia author


This 28 May 2016 video says about itself:

‘I’ve lived with death threats for 10 years’: Roberto Saviano – BBC News

Speaking out about the mafia can come at a price and for writer Roberto Saviano that has meant 10 years living under police protection. In a book published in 2006, he exposed the activities of the Camorra, a mafia organisation based in Naples, described as Italy’s most bloody and ruthless criminal group. Matthew Price spoke to Mr Saviano, for the Victoria Derbyshire programme, about living with a death threat from the mafia.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Gomorra author Saviano sued after denunciation by Lega minister

The public prosecutor in Rome prosecutes Roberto Saviano, the writer of the bestseller Gomorrah, for defamation and slander. Minister Salvini of the Interior, also leader of the right-wing … Lega [party], had filed a complaint against him.

Saviano is a fierce critic of the Italian government and in particular of the Lega. In the media and on Twitter and Facebook, he regularly criticizes fiercely Salvini’s harsh migration policy. The writer also denounces the, in his eyes, dubious Lega financial sponsors.

The tweet that prompted Salvini to report the writer dates from more than a month ago, when the dead bodies of a woman and a child were found in the sea near the Italian coast. “What joy do you derive from the death of innocent children at sea?” tweeted Saviano. “The hatred that you have sown will turn against you.”

Nickname of the mafia

Saviano also called Salvini the “minister of Mala Vita”, which is one of the mafia‘s nicknames. The Lega minister has already threatened to stop the police protection that the writer receives because of death threats from the Neapolitan mafia, the Camorra.

These threats came after the publication of the novel Gomorrah in 2006. The book is a non-fiction work about the Neapolitan mafia. Later on, a TV series was also made based on it.

Berlusconi, mafia crony, Italian judge rules


This video says about itself:

10 May 2014

Italy’s highest court has upheld the mafia collusion conviction of a longtime adviser to former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Marcello Dell’Utri was handed a seven-year jail term in 2010 by a court in Palermo.

He was convicted of acting as a go-between linking the Sicilian mafia and business leaders in Milan.

Formally Dell’Utri served as an executive in Berlusconi‘s extensive business empire and as a senator for Berlusconi’s party.

Dell’Utri was detained in Lebanon after being declared a fugitive from justice.

He was discovered staying at a Beirut hotel. Dell’Utri is currently being detained in hospital in the Lebanese capital after falling ill.

The court’s decision is final and could pave the way for his extradition back to Italy.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 20 April 2018:

Judge: Berlusconi’s regime negotiated with mafia in the 1990s

by Mustafa Marghadi, correspondent in Italy

Silvio Berlusconi suffered a severe blow from a court in Palermo. According to the court, it is proven that the Italian state in the 1990’s negotiated with the mafia to stop a wave of bombings. In 1994, Berlusconi became Prime Minister of Italy for the first time.

In the case, three former police chiefs and two mafia bosses were sentenced today. But more importantly, Marcello Dell’Utri was also found guilty. He is a former senator and co-founder of Berlusconi’s party, Forza Italia. According to the prosecutor, it is proved that Dell’Utri was the channel for the mafia to transfer requests to the Berlusconi government.

End of political career?

The smell of the mafia has been hanging around Berlusconi for some time, mainly because his right hand Dell’Utri is already serving a prison sentence for ties with the mafia. Berlusconi has always denied involvement with the mafia. Even now he is furious and he threatens to sue the public prosecutor for defamation.

This statement can have major consequences for the government formation that is currently under way in Italy. The anti-establishment Five Star movement has so far refused to work with a coalition of center right parties because Berlusconi‘s Forza Italia is part of it. Berlusconi, according to the politicians of the Five Star Movement, stands for the corrupt politics they want to clean up.

The anti-immigration [extreme right] party Lega [Nord], on the other hand, especially wanted to form a government with Berlusconi. But after this ruling, the Five Star movement demands that Berlusconi will no longer participate in a government. If the Lega now agrees, then something may happen that has often been predicted wrongly: a definitive end to the political career of Silvio Berlusconi.

Six weeks after the March 4 parliamentary election there is still no new Italian government in sight. On April 13, President Sergio Mattarella also broke off the second round of consultations without any result: here.

Italian neofascist’s anti-journalist violence


The video in this Twitter message is about neofascist violence in Ostia in Italy.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In Ostia, a seaside town near Rome, an Italian was arrested for headbutting a journalist. The arrested man, Roberto Spada, was interviewed about ties of his family with the extremely right-wing CasaPound party.

The neofascist CasaPound party is named after United States author Ezra Pound, who during World War II did propaganda broadcasts for Mussolini and Hitler.

CasaPound received 9 percent of votes at local elections last Sunday. The state broadcaster RAI made a report about it.

Because the camera crew continued to film, there are clear images of the violence. Spada suddenly does a headbutt near the entrance of his gym and then smashes the journalist, who shouts that his nose is broken, with a stick as well. …

Spada is accused of causing serious injury “with mafia methods”. His brother Carmine is imprisoned for ten years for extortion and ties with the mafia.

Van Gogh paintings, stolen by mafia, found again


Sea at Scheveningen by Vincent van Gogh

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Police find stolen Van Gogh paintings in Mafia house in Italy

Today, 09:55

After fourteen years, two stolen Van Gogh paintings have been found in Italy. They were found in fairly good condition during a police investigation near Naples. According to Italian media they were in the hands of the Mafia.

They are the works Sea at Scheveningen made in 1882, and Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen from 1884/1885. They are estimated to be worth millions of euros.

The Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that the paintings were found in a house in Castel Marie di Stabia, near Pompeii. There they were said to be in the hands of the big shots of the Neapolitan Mafia.

Theft

The paintings were stolen in 2002 from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The thieves climbed early in the morning with a ladder to the first floor of the museum. There they struck a window with a sledgehammer, and climbed through inside.

Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen, by Vincent van Gogh

Now, let us hope that all of the ancient Dutch art, stolen by Ukrainian criminals with links to the Ukrainian political establishment, like the Italian mafia has to its political establishment, will return as well.