The boss of Cosa Nostra in court: the unusual statements of the most wanted mobster in Italy

Matteo Messina Denaro after his arrest in Palermo (Carabinieri)

The considered chief of chiefs of the Cosa Nostra Italian, Matteo Messina Denaroarrested in January after being a fugitive for three decades, has declared himself before the judge as a just “farmer”, “stateless” and oblivious to the Sicilian mafia.

“I work in the fields, I was a farmer. I am not registered because the city council canceled me. Now I am stateless, ”he responded to investigators in a case of alleged extortion on February 21, according to a report released today by the news agency ansa.

According to the magistrates, the mafia boss would have threatened the daughter of a figurehead to return a piece of land that his family had fictitiously registered in the name of his father, Alfonso Passanante.

Messina Denaroarrested in his native Sicily on January 16 after 30 years on the run and imprisoned in the high-security penitentiary of L’Aquila (center), to the question about his economic situation answered: “I lack nothing”.

“I had patrimonial assets but you have taken them all from me. If I still have something left, I won’t say it, I’m not stupid either, ”he said. “If not, how could I have lived until now?” he said.

The capture of Messina Denaro on January 16, 2023 (Carabinieri/REUTERS)
The capture of Messina Denaro on January 16, 2023 (Carabinieri/REUTERS) (CARABINIERI/)

The mobster too He denied being part of “any association” and of belonging to the Sicilian mafia: “Everything I know about Cosa Nostra I know thanks to the newspapers”he pointed out, always according to the same source.

He also refused to have nicknames, although it is known that in his environment he was known as “Diabolik”, in reference to the popular protagonist of a comic, or “U Siccu”, the skinny one.

With his sometimes irreverent and ironic answers, Messina Denaro showed to follow the traditional script of the heads of Cosa Nostra that forces them to deny everything always.

Regarding the case of the alleged extortion, Messina Denaro admitted that he wrote a letter to the victim asking for the land to be returned to him and denying that he used third parties to convey the message that it was only a legitimate claim. “In recent years,” she said, “I found out that she (Passanante’s daughter) was selling the land. (…) So I wanted to tell Passanante that the land is not his, that it is mine, because my father bought it. So I contacted her, with a letter, and I signed it, I did not say pseudonyms, I signed it with Matteo Messina Denaro, because I believed that I was in the right of the facts.

Much of the interrogation presented by the Prosecutor’s Office is covered by secrecy. Italian media reported, however, that a large part referred to the godfather’s links with the Corleonese capos Toto Riina and Bernardo Provenzanowho led Cosa Nostra between the 80s and the 2000s and that Messina Denaro denied having met.

Former Mafia Capo Totó Riina (AP)
Former Mafia Capo Totó Riina (AP)

Investigators also asked him about the murder of Giuseppe DiMatteo, a crime of which Messina Denaro He is considered the mastermind. The boy, the son of a repentant mobster, was dissolved in acid after more than 700 days in captivity in one of the most heinous mafia crimes.

Before the investigators, Messina Denaro would have denied any involvement in the murder. He said he had “never seen” Giovanni Brusca, a repentant mobster and his main accuser.

Messina Denaro, author of numerous murders and attackswas arrested when he went to a private health clinic in Palermo to receive medical treatment for colon cancer and, after his arrest, it was discovered that he hid for the last few years in Campobello di Mazzara (south), near his hometown, Castelvetrano.

In recent months, the authorities have also arrested the alleged network of collaborators who allowed him to live with a certain normality in Sicily.

Among these are his sister Rosalía; her driver, Giovanni Luppino; the doctor from Campobello di Mazara, Alfonso Tumbarello, or a couple who helped him hide, Emanuele Bonafede and Lorena Ninfa Lanceri.

Keep reading:

They arrested the former partner of mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro

“Being accused of mafia is an honor”: the shocking manifesto of Matteo Messina Denaro, the top Sicilian boss