A man known as an Italian mafia boss, nicknamed “the Beast” and known for dropping a young boy in a vat of acid is now being allowed to leave prison, so he could “die with dignity”.
An Italian court decided to release the Sicilian mafia boss, Salvatore ‘Toto’ Riina, 86, on compassionate grounds. This has started several protests and sparked anger from families of his victims. Even politicians are protesting his release.
He’s known as Italy’s worst mobster, even going so far as to declare war against the state in the mob’s prime days. He also ordered the killings of magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992 bomb attacks that left nine others dead.
The Daily Mail reports:
He was jailed a year later and became known as the Sicilian Mafia’s ‘Boss of all Bosses’ for his extreme brutality.
From behind bars, Riina ordered the killing of 13-year-old Giuseppe Di Matteo who was strangled and his body dissolved in acid in 1996 to punish his father who had turned informant on the Mafia.
Responding to a request by the Mafia boss’s lawyers, Italy highest court ruled on Monday that he had a right to ‘die with dignity’ under house arrest like any other terminally ill prisoner.
As well as cancer he is believed to have heart problems and Parkinson’s disease.
Salvatore Borsellino, the brother of one of the slain magistrates, said: ‘The court should have remembered that the person before them is same one who blew to bits servants of the state and ordered that a little boy be dissolved in acid.’
The final decision rests with a parole board in the northern city of Bologna, near Parma, where Riina is being held.
Last year it dismissed a petition for his release and it was unclear when it would review its decision following the high court’s ruling.
Leaders across the political spectrum said that Riina should spend his final days in prison.
Matteo Salvini, head of the right-wing Northern League, said: ‘I am speechless.
‘The dozens of victims who should weigh on his conscience and were brutally killed, including women and children, should have had the right to die with dignity.’
Carmelo Miceli, head of the centre-left Democratic Party in the Sicilian capital, Palermo added: ‘We will not allow Riina to return to Corleone.’
Last year Riina’s mobster son sparked outrage in Italy by giving an interview in which he described his childhood as ‘nice’ and refused to denounce the mob.
Giuseppe Salvatore Riina appeared on RAI’s premier talkshow to promote a book he had written about growing up in a Mafia family.
But not once during the interview did Riina criticise his father, and he refused to acknowledge the existence of the mafia, saying cryptically: ‘It could be everything or it could be nothing’.