ROME (Reuters) - Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano testified for more than three hours on Tuesday in an unprecedented appearance in a major trial that accuses the state of holding secret talks with the Sicilian Mafia in the 1990s.
Palermo prosecutors seeking to shed light on a murky period when the mob targeted the state with assassinations and bombings questioned a sitting head of state in a mafia trial for the first time in the country's history.
Among the defendants are Nicola Mancino, who was interior minister at the time and is charged with giving false testimony, and Salvatore Riina, once Italy's most powerful mafia boss.
Riina and eight others in the dock face charges of trying to blackmail the state. All deny any wrongdoing.
The 89-year-old Napolitano is not accused of any crime. He was called as a witness who may have knowledge useful to the trial, but the hearing may tarnish the image of a president who has guided Italy in a period of political and economic turmoil.
Italy's PM testify's against Mafia
#17148656 - 4 years ago