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Italy’s Most Wanted Mafia Boss Arrested After 30 Years On The Run

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Updated Jan 16, 2023, 05:19am EST

Topline

Authorities in Italy on Monday announced the arrest of Matteo Messina Denaro, the country’s most wanted mafia leader who had been on the run from the law since 1993.

In this Italian Carabinieri handout photo made available on Monday top Mafia boss Matteo Messina … [+] Denaro, right, is seen in a car with Italian Carabinieri officers soon after his arrest at a private clinic in Palermo, Sicily.

Associated Press

Key Facts

Italy’s military police, the Carabinieri, announced that Messina Denaro was arrested in the city of Palermo while he was undergoing treatment at a health facility.

One of Italy’s most wanted criminals, Messina Denaro is allegedly the leader of the notorious Sicilian Cosa Nostra mafia.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni hailed the arrest as a “great victory” for the state, labeling Messina Denaro as the “significant exponent of mafia crime.”

Key Background

In 2002, Messina Denaro was tried and sentenced in absentia to life in prison for his involvement in multiple terror attacks and murders in 1992 and 1993. This included the murders of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino—two prominent anti-mafia prosecutors in two separate bombings in 1992. Messina Denaro was also convicted for carrying out a series of terror attacks in Milan, Florence and Rome in 1993, which resulted in the deaths of 10 people and left dozens injured. In 2012, Messina Denaro was handed another life sentence in absentia for his role in the torture and killing of the 11-year-old son of a former mafia member turned informant.

Further Reading

Italy’s most wanted mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro arrested, police say (Sky News)

Italy marks 30-year anniversary of murder of anti-mafia judge Falcone (AFP)

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Siladitya Ray

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