Italy’s most wanted mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro has been arrested by the country’s police. He was absconding since 1993. He was arrested on Monday at a private hospital in the Sicilian capital Palermo. He was under treatment there. Reuters news.
Prosecutors say Messina Denaro, 60, is a boss of Sicily’s Cosa Nostra mafia. In 1992 he was sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia for his role in the murders of anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.
Police said they detained him at the ‘La Maddalena’ hospital in Palermo, a northern suburb of the city, on Monday morning. Photos on social media showed locals clapping and shaking hands with police in balaclavas. Accused being taken away in a minivan.
Italy’s Ansa news agency reported that Messina Denaro had been making hospital appointments for some time. Police secretly moved officers to another building overnight to protect other patients.
Italian news agencies reported that he was believed to be suffering from cancer.
Messina Denaro also received a life sentence for his involvement in bombings in Florence, Rome and Milan. 10 people lost their lives in the incident.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni hailed the arrest as ‘a great victory for the state which proves that this government does not give in to the mafia’.