Sicilian Mafia boss Messina Denaro buried

Sicilian Mafia boss Messina Denaro buried
Sicilian Mafia boss Messina Denaro buried

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - This handout video grab taken and released by the Italian Carabinieri Press Office on January 16, 2023 shows the transfer of Italy’s top wanted mafia boss, Matteo Messina Denaro (centre) from the Carabinieri police station of San Lorenzo in Palermo, to an undisclosed location. — Italian Carabinieri Press Office handout via AFP

ROME, Sept 27 — Sicilian Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro was buried in his hometown today, with just a few close relatives allowed to bid farewell to the ruthless killer, media reports said.

Messina Denaro, captured in January after three decades on the run, died on Monday in hospital in central Italy, taking to the grave the secrets of his brutal reign.

He had been in the inmates' ward of the hospital in L'Aquila since August due to his worsening condition.

His coffin was driven in a hearse from the hospital late Tuesday and arrived in his hometown of Castelvetrano in Sicily in the early hours of Wednesday, according to media reports.

Just a few family members were present at his burial, television images showed, including two sisters, a brother, and a daughter born during his fugitive years.

There was a heavy police presence around the gates of the cemetery.

The small group of mourners, most dressed head-to-toe in black, followed the hearse in, with one of the mobster's sisters carrying a bouquet of yellow roses.

Messina Denaro was buried in the family tomb, according to the Palermo Today daily.

He was one of the most ruthless bosses in Cosa Nostra, the real-life Sicilian crime syndicate depicted in the "Godfather" movies.

The 61-year-old 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 murder of the 12-year-old son of a witness in the Falcone case.

Messina Denaro disappeared in the summer of 1993 and spent the next 30 years on the run as the Italian state cracked down on the Sicilian mob.

But he remained at the top of Italy's most-wanted list and increasingly became a figure of legend.

It was his decision to seek treatment for colon cancer that led to his arrest on January 16, 2023, when he visited a health clinic in Palermo. — AFP

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