Italian mafia boss allowed house arrest due to epidemic
MILAN – Francesco Bonura, 78, part of a triad that led Cosa Nostra before his arrest in 2006, and who was sentenced to 18 years and eight months in 2012, has been released from the Opera prison in Milan and granted house arrest by a Milan judge, reports Il Fatto Quotidiano, according to a provision signed by the judge on April 20.
On Tuesday, the number of coronavirus cases registered in Italy reached 183,957, with those to have died reaching 24,648, and the epidemic was used by the judge to justify the decision, given the rate of contagion in densely populated prisons which exposes elderly people.
The move has been dubbed a “serious offense against the memory of the victims,” by Magistrate Antonino Di Matteo, quoted in AdnKronos, in reference to the massacres that were committed by the mafia.
In the three-page long provision, the judge explained that Mr. Bonura will spend the house arrest in his wife's house in Palermo, and although he won’t be able to meet anybody, he may leave the house for health reasons. Mr. Bonura has cancer at an advanced stage, but the decision to release him has been slammed by senators who called for the reasons to be verified and who called on the Anti-Mafia Commission, reports Gironale Di Sicilia.
House arrest had already been granted to mafia boss Vincenzino Iannazzo, head of the ‘Ndrangheta in Lamezia Terme, who was sentenced to serve 14 years and six months, report the New Sicilia, and with the precedent set that draws no distinction between minor and serious crimes, several high level mafia bosses also hope to obtain house arrest.
Concerns about the release of Mr. Iannazzo were raised at the time, with commentators arguing that while the merits or demerits of the decision on judicial grounds were uncertain, there was also the possibility of a strong public reaction to consider, reported in Lamezia Informa.