Facebook users urge mafia boss to be informant

December 9th, 2009 - 1:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Facebook Palermo (Italy), Dec 9 (IANS/AKI) Users of the popular internet social networking site Facebook have urged Giovanni Nicchi, the Sicilian mafia fugitive boss captured at the weekend, to become an informant.
Since Nicchi was arrested in the southern city of Palermo Saturday, more than 5,000 people have registered on the Facebook page of the Palermo police department’s elite squad that hunts down the most-wanted mafia suspects.

“Gianni Nicchi, you’re a mafia boss. But you’re still young and according to your criminal record you haven’t killed anyone. You have two small children and a young partner. You can give them and yourself a chance. You can still do good by renouncing evil,” wrote one user on the Facebook page.

“Teach everybody a lesson by turning your back on Cosa Nostra and collaborating with the Italian justice system. Your life will be easier. But above all that of your children and will be happier and more peaceful,” the user added.

Costra Nostra is the Italian name for the Sicilian mafia.

Police will Wednesday hand over to public prosecutors in Palermo items, including a laptop computer and mobile phones, seized during the raid on the small flat where 28-year-old Nicchi was arrested.

Nicchi was on the run for three years, and reportedly communicated via ‘pizzini’ - or messages written on scraps of paper hidden in cigarette packets.

He is now due to appear before prosecutors Friday at Palermo’s appeals court where hearings are taking place in one of two trials in which he was sentenced in absentia to a total 18 years in jail for extortion and mafia links.

Prosecutors have sent a request to Italy’s national anti-mafia directorate to severely limit Nicchi’s contact with other prisoners and the outside world while he is in prison.

Palermo prosecutors in the northern Italian city of Milan Wednesday will question another top suspected Sicilian mafia leader, Gaetano Fidanzati. The 74-year-old was arrested in Milan Saturday.

Prosecutors will also question Alessandro Presiti, 19, and Giusy Amato, 27, who are both suspected of aiding and abetting Nicchi in Palermo.

–IANS/AKI

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