Sunday, June 1, 2014
Mafia informant says Italian politicians helped build criminal empire
Italy’s much-feared Camorra mafia has been able to build up a lucrative criminal empire thanks to the collusion of politicians of all stripes, a godfather-turned-informant has told a court.
Politicians from the Left and Right were all as corrupt as each other, according to Antonio Iovine, who was head of the Camorra and went on the run for 14 years before being finally caught hiding in a flat in the town of Casal di Principe, outside Naples.
He was jailed in 2010 on charges of murder, extortion and criminal association, but only turned informer, or “pentito” in Italian, in the last few weeks.
“I’m well aware of the crimes which have stained my past, but the Camorra are not the only ones responsible,” said Iovine, incongruously nicknamed in Neapolitan dialect 'O Ninno, or The Baby.
Iovine, 49, who was a member of the notorious Casalesi clan within the Camorra, explained: “There was money for everyone in a system that was completely corrupt.
“It made no difference what political colour a mayor was because the system operated - and still operates - “ in the same way.” “Generally, I was totally indifferent as to who put themselves forward to be mayor because whoever won automatically became part of the system that we were running.” His scathing critique of the level of corruption encountered by the Camorra in their dealings with politicians and businessman was contained in statements recently made to investigators.
The statements were submitted yesterday as evidence to a court in Naples where Enrico Fabozzi, a former counselor with the centre-Left Democratic Party, is on trial accused of having colluded with the mafia.
Iovine’s senior position and his control of the Camorra’s finances mean that his revelations could be explosive, according to Roberto Saviano, an investigative journalist whose book about the Camorra, Gomorrah, was made into an award-winning film.
He was forced into hiding after receiving threats from the mob.
“Antonio Iovine’s collaboration with police will make the Italian political and business worlds tremble,” Mr Saviano wrote last week in the daily newspaper La Repubblica. “He knows everything.”