Police say Giorgio Randazzo reached out to paparazzi king Fabrizio Corona to sell him classified documents about a notorious mafia godfather.
A Sicilian politician and a police officer are under house arrest over a plot to sell to the press "top-secret" mafia documents in an attempt to make a "scoop".
They were reportedly planning to sell the papers to Fabrizio Corona, the former Italian king of paparazzi, convicted in the past for blackmailing VIPs.
Prosecutors say police officer Luigi Pirollo illegally extracted 786 documents from a police database before he handed them to Brothers of Italy's Giorgio Randazzo.
Once he received them, the politician tried to place the files with paparazzi king Fabrizio Corona, who suggested pitching them to MOW magazine editor Moreno Pisto.
Pisto met with Corona and Randazzo but eventually decided to reveal their plan to the police, sparking an investigation that led to Giorgio Randazzo's and Luigi Pirollo's arrests, as well as an investigation into Corona.
Planning a 'scoop' with secret information about mafia hideouts
ANSA reports that the stolen documents included information about Matteo Messina Denaro's hideouts and plans to search them.
Luigi Pirollo is a Carabiniere police officer serving in the Sicilian town of Mazara del Vallo, while Giorgio Randazzo is a local councillor and coordinator in Sicily for Giorgia Meloni's party Brothers of Italy.
Randazzo was known for being a vocal anti-mafia politician. Following his arrests, people voiced their disdain on Facebook, commenting below the anti-mafia posts he shared.
Who is Matteo Messina Denaro?
Matteo Messina Denaro is the former head of the Sicilian Mafia and is currently serving a life sentence in the L'Aquila supermax prison.
On Wednesday, authorities upheld his conviction over the murder of two prominent mafia prosecutors and their security convoys in 1992.
The kingpin had managed to escape prison for more than thirty years until he was arrested in Sicily last January.