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Mob witness links Berlusconi to mafia bombings

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Mob witness links Berlusconi to mafia bombings

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Italy’s prime minister is facing fresh allegations he was linked to a 1993 mafia bombing campaign.

Jailed hitman Gaspare Spatuzza has accused Silvio Berlusconi of being connected to the Cosa Nostra. Mobster-turned-witness, Spatuzza told a court in Turin that he learned of Berlusconi’s involvement from a mafia clan leader imprisoned over the attacks. Berlusconi, who had not yet entered politics at the time of the attacks, says the claims are “unfounded.” His office says the witness’ evidence is the mob’s revenge for his fight against organised crime. The evidence has been heard as part of an appeal by the Italian premier’s close political and business ally Marcello Dell’Utri, who is fighting a nine-year jail term for his links with the mafia. Spatuzza’s allegations have prompted prosecutors to reopen an investigation into the Sicilian mafia’s war on the state in the early 90s and bombings in Rome, Florence and Milan. At the time, the Cosa Nostra was waging a campaign to scare the state into relaxing the harsh prison terms for its convicted members. Mafiosi were jailed, but a probe into links with politicians and business was dropped in 1998, then reopened this year when Spatuzza turned informant. Five people died in a bomb attack in the Florence bombing. Ten more were killed in Rome with more than 100 others injured.