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Mafia. New threats to Bellavia, a journalist for “La Repubblica”

Threats have been in sent in order to prevent the interviewing of the mafia pentito Mr Franco Di Carlo on the “negotiation” details. He had already received similar intimidations in Palermo two years ago

A new anonymous letter containing threats came to La Repubblica journalist Mr Enrico Bellavia, after a first one came in June 2012. Once again, the intimidations spring from the version released by the repentant Mr Franco Di Carlo, on the State-Mafia negotiation on which Bellavia is gathering a report.

“We had advised you and your friend Di Carlo not to deal with the past, but this did not happen. We know that your are planning to write a book, which we hope it will not be published and that Di Carlo will not give evidence in Caltanissetta.” This is the text of the letter mailed in Palermo on May 13th and arrived on May 27th at the central office in Rome, where Bellavia works. The journalist immediately filed a detailed complaint.

“This letter makes explicit reference to another anonymous threat that was sent to me two years ago – says Bellavia to Ossigeno – and relates to a book I’m writing, which delves into what Di Carlo told me in an interview published on January 29th.”

The pentito had told the reporter that in 1989, just before the failed Addaura assault against Giovanni Falcone, he received in prison a visit by secret service agents and by the then head of the Mobile Police Unit of Palermo, Mr Arnaldo La Barbera, who did not present himself, but had attended the meeting nonetheless. As Di Carlo had said, the agents asked him “to find a way to force Falcone to go away from Palermo and change job.”

In the interview, Di Carlo claimed to have recognized La Barbera only after his visit in jail and from a photograph. Because of this statement, Bellavia explains, “and following the interview, the pentito was called for a public hearing in Palermo. They asked him who showed the photograph to him. He said that it was I. In other words – as the journalist concludes – he so revealed that I was interviewing him to write another book of his memoirs (the first is Un Uomo d’Onore – A man of honour). A few days after these statements I received the letter.”

According to the reporter, this new intimidation is very important for it refers to a possible deposition by Di Carlo to the prosecution of Caltanissetta, which deals with mafia massacres. “It’s a worrying sign – Bellavia says – because it proves that the witness of Di Carlo is valuable and most useful to further investigate the involvement in the massacres by a deviant apparatus of the State, who wanted to put an end to the work of Falcone and Borsellino. Probably – as the journalist continues – from this same environment, linked to Cosa Nostra but not belonging to the military mafia, the threatening letters addressed to me have been sent.”

Solidarity to Bellavia was expressed by the newsroom of La Repubblica. The President of the national union of Italian reporters (UNCI), Mr Guido Columba, and the president of the UNCI Sicily, Mr Leo Zingales, have said to be “close to the colleague, knowing that no threat will be able stop him from informing the readers, as he has done so far.”

“The already long list of reporters – as Columba and Zingales added – who are threatened because of the exercise of the right and duty to inform, is lengthening. It is a list that should make us reflect on the conditions of risk faced by those who, with seriousness, competence and professionalism, deal with issues tied to the Mafia and the occult powers that have influenced the democratic life of the country.”

To Enrico Bellavia goes the solidarity of Ossigeno.

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