Camorra boss turns state witness

NAPLES-Head of Casalesi clan of the Camorra mafia Antonio Iovine agreed to collaborate with Naples prosecutors after four years in prison, police said Thursday.

 Known as ‘o ninno, the mafia mobster was sentenced to life imprisonment for multiple murder at the end of the most important trial against the Casalesi family, “Spartacus”, and was captured by the police in autumn 2010 after 15 years on the run.

 Iovine, together with Francesco Bidognetti, Francesco Schiavone and Michele Zagara, are the four ex-bosses of the mafia clan from Casal di Principe in Caserta province 20km from Naples, considered responsible for death threats aimed at anti-mafia writer Roberto Saviano, which forced the author of famed “Gomorrah” into 24-hour police protection. 

 "When last December I wrote that Antonio Iovine was considering turning State witness, I was called a visionary," tweeted Saviano Thursday. "It has happened.”

 "It is positive that breaches are being made in Camorra clans and that there is collaboration with the judiciary," said Thursday Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris. “The most damaging blows to mafia organisations have been made also thanks to the collaboration of State witnesses."

 Iovine is said to have started reconstructing the complex mafia organisation, activities and internal dynamics, including relationships between mafia bosses and politicians, in hearings with Naples anti-mafia magistrates this week. Police sources confirmed that Iovine’s wife and son have now been transferred to a secret location outside the province of Caserta for protection.