Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano has testified in a major trial that accuses the state of holding secret talks with the Sicilian Mafia in the 1990s.
Among the 10 defendants are Nicola Mancino, who was interior minister at the time, and Salvatore Riina, once Italy’s most powerful mob boss.
Prosecutors are seeking to shed light on a dark period when organised crime targeted the state with assassinations and bombings.
They allege senior politicians and police, hoping to stem mounting violence, held talks with mob bosses after anti-Mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, his wife and three bodyguards were killed by a Mafia bomb in 1992.
Euronews’ correspondent in Rome, Sabrina Pisu, said: “It’s the first time ever that the doors of the presidential palace have been opened to prosecutors. The trial of the so-called ‘negotiations between the Italian State and Mafia’ is taking place at the Quirinale Palace, hearing some extraordinary testimony by Giorgio Napolitano. The families of the victims have never stopped demanding the truth be told and justice to be served.”