Scritto da Anna Petrozzi e Lorenzo Baldo Martedì 02 Marzo 2010 22:38
Lunedì 15 Marzo 2010 15:17
General Mori's lawyer (Piero Millio) tried his best to rattle Massimo Ciancimino's nerves hoping he would contradict himself. Millo's questioning begins with a demand. Ciancimino junior must not look at him while answering questions and his statements are to be addressed exclusively to the Court. When prosecutors ask Millo to clarify his position, the lawyer brilliantly interprets his first coup de theatre: someone might suggest the answers!
Public prosecutor Nino Di Matteo doesn't go along with the game and makes a formal request to obtain trial proceeding documents in order to verify irregularities. The attempt to create a controversial atmosphere meant to destabilize Massimo Ciancimino's nerves is cut short by president Fontana who calmly breaks down the presumed contentions brought up by Millo throughout the trial.
Millio limited himself to the reading of very long parts of statements released by Massimo Ciancimino during his interrogation. Millo was trying to put an emphasis on Ciancimino junior's initial hesitations to cooperate, hesitations which were immediately compensated for when the witness produced the necessary documents as proof of his testimony.
The defence attorney's bland counter interrogation finds an explanation when the President of the Court begins to ask precise and clear questions which aim at developing the uncertain aspects of Ciancimino's testimony.
The defendant must provide himself with a line of defence and Millio's awkward disputes assume meaning. They're part of the game.
For over an hour and a half general Mori reads a memorial (reproduced in copy for the press) that sounds more like a concluding speech than a spontaneous testimony.
Mori claims that Massimo Ciancimino constructed a story to suit the line that was being followed by prosecutors in order to gain certain legal benefits with regards to a trial in which Ciancimino junior was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment for money laundering.
In order to dismantle don Vito's son's statements, general Mori examined every point of Massimo's testimony and gave his own version of the facts.
First of all the negotiation. As in other circumstances general Mori claims that his relationship with don Vito had nothing to do with a negotiation. As he sees it, the former mayor was nothing more than a high level source of information. At the time(1992) the old mayor was in a weak position. His judiciary troubles were far from over. It was in light of these troubles that Mori engaged a relationship with Don Vito. He hoped the old mayor would cooperate by giving information about the corleonesi who were at the head of Cosa Nostra.
To avail his version of the story Mori reads a series of statements made by Vito Ciancimino to the court of Palermo and to prosecutors Caselli and Ingroia in January 1993. General Mori also makes use of the old mayor's written words in a rough copy of his book entitled: Le mafie (The mafias).
According to Mori the documents prove that Don Vito's reconstruction of the facts remained unvaried through time and that he never gave a version that was different to his initial one. Mori deduces that, differently from what Ciancimino junior says, had don Vito felt abandoned and betrayed his behavior would have reflected his sensations and the old mayor could have easily taken revenge by releasing contrasting statements.
On the other hand Massimo Ciancimino affirms that his father told him that the content of the book had been agreed upon with the two ROS police officials. The purpose of such an agreement was to protect his children from being involved in a negotiation which, despite everything else, had culminated with the arrest of the head of Cosa Nostra . An important precaution that makes sense.
Judges will now have to determine who is right. Both Mori's and Ciancimino junior's versions stand their ground and one could prevail over the other only if further evidence is produced.
Another difficult issue needy of clarification concerns the dates in which, according to Massimo Ciancimino, his father encountered general Mori and captain De Donno. Mori faces this topic by anticipating a few passages of doctor Liliana Ferraro's testimony to magistrates from Palermo and Caltanissetta on October 14th 2009. Mrs. Ferraro's statements have not yet been discussed in court.
Ferraro took judge Falcone's place at the Department of Criminal Affairs following his murder. She tells magistrates that she met captain De Donno about three weeks after the massacre of Capaci, around June 23rd 1992. As she and the captain discussed the feeling of investigative confusion left by Falcone's death De Donno reffered:
“...it was time to do everything they could, and, since Vito Ciancimino was an important figure, they had thought of considering the possibility of making a collaborator of him. De Donno told me he had contacted his son Massimo and that through Massimo he hoped to get in touch or had already gotten in touch, I don't remember well, withVito Ciancimino”.
According to Mori, Ferraro's words prove without a doubt that, at the end of June 1992 De Donno had come into contact with Massimo Ciancimino. Only later would he meet with his father.
In his memorial general Mori affirms – that Massimo Ciancimino's testimony, which states that his father Vito Ciancimino had already spoken to Mori two or three times before June 29th 1992 is false and that his entire reconstruction of the incident is, therefore, also false.
A hasty consideration if we take into account Mrs. Ferraro's words: “...he had contacted his son Massimo and that through Massimo he hoped to get in touch or had already gotten in touch, I don't remember well, with Vito Ciancimino”.
In a court of law a statement such as: “I don't remember well” can hardly be considered crushing proof. However, it is up to the Court to draw the necessary conclusions and re - establish the truth.
What Mori “forgets” to talk about is the newest and perhaps most important detail which Mrs. Ferraro confirmed during her testimony. Ferraro affirms that judge Paolo Borsellino was aware of the police officials' attempt to communicate with Vito Ciancimino.
This event could not have left the judge impartial. Mori himself states that one of the most important investigative paths being followed by Borsellino in his search for Falcone's murderers concerned competitive construction business tenders. As Mori reminds us in his memorial “ Vito Ciancimino had always been, and to some degree still was the man who looked after public tenders and fused bonds between the political – business world and organized crime”.
Why was judge Borsellino not informed? Why did the two police officials not consult the highest authority on the matter, a matter which focused on the fight against Cosa Nostra? Why did they not seek Borsellino's advice when dealing with a such a “difficult” source of information who also determined a situation of high personal risk? Is it possible that Borsellino did not ask for an explanation of such an important detail? During those hours judge Borsellino was well aware that his own life was in serious danger. Could it be that he completely ignored the incident?
Since we're still looking at a number of hypothesis it's not absurd to presume that if Vito Ciancimino's main concern was to protect his children and avoid involving them in Riina's arrest, on the other hand, the two police officials' primary interest was to place the date of the massacre of D'Amelio Street as far away as possible from the dates of the encounters which took place with Vito Ciancimino. In his memorial Mori also dismisses the fact that the Court of Florence had already attributed a moral responsibility to the police officials involved. They had deliberately looked for a connection with don Vito and Riina had interpreted their behavior as a dangerous guarantee.
“...in light of these aspects a few necessary words must be spent. The initiative taken by the department of the police force called ROS (since we are talking about this department, of one of it's captains, of a second in command as well as of it's commanding officer) had all the characteristics and appeared to be a real “negotiation”. The effect it had on major mafia exponents was to convince them once and for all that the massacre was the ideal strategy from which their criminal organizations would gain benefits”. (pg. 1585)
Had it not been for Massimo Ciancimino this crucial and vital detail, a detail which could shed a light on the massacre of D'Amelio Street would never have emerged.
It is still early to dismiss Massimo Ciancimino as a crafty opportunist. The game is far from over.