Sicilian mafia boss Giovanni Brusca, dubbed the ‘people slayer’, has been released from Rome’s Rebibbia prison on parole after serving 25 years for his role in more than 100 murders. The move has been heavily criticized in Italy.
The mafia chief, who later turned informant and helped secure the prosecution of other criminals, was arrested in 1996 and sentenced to prison after admitting to having played a part in more than 100 murders, including the brutal killing of a 14-year-old boy whose body was dissolved in acid.
Brusca’s release from prison comes after he was previously granted temporary leave on a number of occasions. With his release legally required after serving his sentence and providing assistance in convicting fellow members of the Cosa Nostra, he will now be on parole for the next four years.
The situation has united both sides of Italy’s political system in condemnation, with Enrico Letta, the leader of the center-left Democratic Party, describing it to RTL as a “punch in the stomach,” while Matteo Salvini, head of the right-wing League Party, stated on Twitter that “this is not the justice that Italians deserve.”
The families of some of Brusca’s victims also criticized his parole, saying his cooperation with prosecutors was simply a cynical ploy to “only to get the benefits” rather than out of genuine remorse.
However, Italy’s chief anti-mafia prosecutor, Federico Cafiero De Raho, defended Brusca’s release, telling Reuters the decision was due to the convicted killer’s “collaboration” with prosecutors.
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