Berlusconi’s alleged Mafia ties

  Sicilian Mafioso turned snitch Gaspare Spatuzza needs to re-watch a pivotal scene from Goodfellas. While testifying against Marcello Dell’Utri, an Italian politican, Spatuzza dropped a dime on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for having ties to the Mafia. Spatuzza is serving life in prison for two murders. Dell’Utri was earlier convicted of Mafia associations ...

575914_091207_PassportMrBInthePokey2.jpg
575914_091207_PassportMrBInthePokey2.jpg

 

Sicilian Mafioso turned snitch Gaspare Spatuzza needs to re-watch a pivotal scene from Goodfellas. While testifying against Marcello Dell'Utri, an Italian politican, Spatuzza dropped a dime on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for having ties to the Mafia. Spatuzza is serving life in prison for two murders.

Dell'Utri was earlier convicted of Mafia associations and sentenced to nine years in jail, something he is now appealing. He was a co-founder of Berlusconi's political party, Forza Italia and a senior advisor to the prime minister. As is common for political heavyweights in Italy, Dell'Utri hasn't served any jail time, despite convictions.  

 

Sicilian Mafioso turned snitch Gaspare Spatuzza needs to re-watch a pivotal scene from Goodfellas. While testifying against Marcello Dell’Utri, an Italian politican, Spatuzza dropped a dime on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for having ties to the Mafia. Spatuzza is serving life in prison for two murders.

Dell’Utri was earlier convicted of Mafia associations and sentenced to nine years in jail, something he is now appealing. He was a co-founder of Berlusconi’s political party, Forza Italia and a senior advisor to the prime minister. As is common for political heavyweights in Italy, Dell’Utri hasn’t served any jail time, despite convictions.  

Spatuzza told his story from behind a screen in the courtroom, testifying that his former employer, mob boss Guiseppe Graviano used to brag about how close he was with Berlusconi in the 1990s.

“Two names were mentioned, one of them was Berlusconi’s,” he said. “Graviano told me that thanks to the seriousness of these people, we had the country in our hands.”

A Berlusconi spokesman denied the allegations, saying the Mafia was trying to harm the prime minister’s credibility because of his recent crackdown on organized crime. Dell’Utri thinks Berlusconi has bigger things to worry about.

“Of course Berlusconi is completely calm about it too – he’s more afraid of his wife than Spatuzza,” he said, referring to Berlusconi’s pending divorce after he allegedly pulled a Tiger Woods.

The mounting pressure against Berlusconi was evident in Saturday’s rally in which tens of thousands came together in Rome calling on the prime minister to resign.

VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images

Bobby Pierce is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy.

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.