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Italy remembers anti-mafia judge Borsellino on anniversary of murder

Italian premier Giorgia Meloni to commemorate victims of Via D'Amelio bombing which took place on this day 31 years ago.

Italy marks the 31st anniversary of the murder of anti-mafia judge Paolo Borsellino who was assassinated by the Cosa Nostra in the Sicilian capital Palermo on 19 July 1992.

Borsellino was killed by a car bomb on Via d'Amelio, as he was about to visit his mother, along with five police officers: Agostino Catalano, Walter Cosina, Emanuela Loi, Vincenzo Li Muli and Claudio Traina.

Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni will travel to Palermo on Wednesday to attend a ceremony commemorating Borsellino and the five slain police officers.

In a letter to Corriere della Sera newspaper Meloni underlined her government's commitment to tackling mafia organisations, stressing its "determination and courage" to face the "mafia cancer head-on".

She also highlighted the arrest earlier this year of Italy's most wanted mafia boss, Matteo Messina Denaro - after 30 years on the run - who in 2002 was tried and sentenced to life in jail in absentia over numerous murders including the killing of Borsellino and fellow anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone.

"There's still a lot to do, but our commitment will never run out. Simply because the fight against the mafia is part of us, it's a cornerstone of our identity, it's the moral issue that guides our daily action" - Meloni wrote - "We owe it to Paolo Borsellino, and to all those who have sacrificed their lives for justice and have honoured Italy."

Scene of the car bomb attack on Via D'Amelio, 19 July 1992.

Aftermath of Via D'Amelio bombing

Borsellino's family refused a state funeral, with his widow Agnese accusing the government of failing to protect her husband.

The family held a private ceremony instead, expressly asking that politicians stay away.

During the funeral for the five slain police officers, angry crowds broke through the barriers and jeered the state representatives present, amid a deepening crisis of confidence in the ability of authorities to battle organised crime.

During the chaotic scenes, security services were forced to hustle Italy's president Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, prime minister Giuliano Amato and police chief Vincenzo Parisi out of Palermo's cathedral.

The murder of Borsellino occurred 57 days after his friend, anti-mafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone, was killed along with his wife Francesca Movillo and three police officers - Vito Schifani, Rocco Dicillo and Antonio Montinaro - in the Capaci bombing, near Palermo airport.

Borsellino and Falcone spent most of their distinguished professional careers as judges and prosecuting magistrates trying to overthrow the power of the Sicilian mafia.

Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in an iconic photograph by Tony Gentile.

 The mens' deaths resulted in a major crackdown against mafia organisations and led to the 1993 arrest of notorious Cosa Nostra godfather Totò Riina, who died in jail in 2017.

Last year Italy marked the 30th anniversary of the murders of Falcone and Borsellino by issuing a special €2 coin in their honour.

General Info

Address Via Mariano d'Amelio, 90143 Palermo PA, Italy

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Italy remembers anti-mafia judge Borsellino on anniversary of murder

Via Mariano d'Amelio, 90143 Palermo PA, Italy

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