Three police officers indicted for allegedly covering up evidence in Borsellino’s murder case

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Three police officers were indicted Friday for allegedly covering up evidence in a probe into the slaying of anti-mafia magistrate Paolo Borsellino.

News Agency ANSA reports that Fabrizio Mattei, Mario Bo and Michele Ribaudo were sent to trial for aggravated calumny in the 1992 deaths of Borsellino and his five police escorts.

“The trio helped cook up evidence from fake informants that led to the convictions of seven innocent people, a preliminary hearings judge said.  Borsellino’s daughter Fiammetta Borsellino said “we’ll only know the truth if those that know speak out and emerge from omertà.”

Fiammetta, who with her two brothers will stand as civil plaintiffs in the trial, added she “could not understand” how a previous prosecution led to the convictions of the seven.

Sicilian prosecutors have called the investigation into the Borsellino killing “the biggest cover-up in Italian history”.

On September 17 Palermo prosecutor Nino Di Matteo told the judiciary’s self-governing body that investigators have “never been closer” to the truth on the July 1992 bomb slaying of Borsellino, “We are one step away from the truth about the Via d’Amelio massacre,” he told the Supreme Council of Magistrates. “Never as now have we been closer to the truth. And that is thanks to me and other magistrates”.

Di Matteo went on: “it’s not right that these magistrates should be linked to cover-ups and that charge is a tool of those who don’t want progress to be made” Di Matteo said the removal from the bomb scene of Borsellino’s personal diary was the “first action of trying to throw investigators off the track”.

He said that the slain magistrate had noted down in it “very serious things”. “And there is no doubt there was a negotiation in those days between the ROS security police and (late boss of bosses Salvatore) Riina with (son of mafia mayor Vito, Massimo) Ciancimino playing go-between”.

“Today it is known that Borsellino on July 15 spoke to his wife of a high-ranking ROS officer who had been a friend of him previously. “The mafiosi carried out the massacre but the theft of the red diary can’t have been done by the person who pressed the (detonator) button”. The magistrate, who is under round-the-clock police protection, spoke of “very high prices” paid by himself and his family in the search for the truth.

On July 19, the 26th anniversary of the assassination, President Sergio Mattarella said that “honouring the memory of magistrate Borsellino and the persons escorting him also means not stopping to seek the truth on that massacre”. “26 years on,” said Mattarella, “the memories and emotion for the cowardly attack in Via d’Amelio (in Palermo) are still alive”.

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