Sicilian Mafia boss Messina Denaro dies in hospital

ROME  -  Sicilian Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, captured in January after three decades on the run, died on Monday in hospital in central Italy. The 61-year-old had been treated for co­lon cancer while detained in a high-security jail in L’Aqui­la but was moved last month to hospital after his condition deteriorated. L’Aquila may­or Pierluigi Biondi confirmed the mobster’s death in hospi­tal “following a worsening of his illness”. His death “puts the end to a story of violence and blood”, Biondi told the ANSA news agency. He thanked pris­on and hospital staff for their “professionalism and human­ity”. It was “the epilogue of an existence lived without re­morse or repentance, a painful chapter in the recent history of our nation”. Messina Dena­ro was one of the most ruth­less bosses in Cosa Nostra, the real-life Sicilian crime syndi­cate depicted in the Godfa­ther movies. He was convicted of involvement in the murder of anti-Mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992 and in deadly bomb­ings in Rome, Florence and Milan in 1993. One of his six life sentences was for the kid­napping and subsequent mur­der of the 12-year-old son of a witness in the Falcone case.

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