Assets seized from Messina Denaro cousin (2)

Jailed construction businessman loses millions

Assets seized from Messina Denaro cousin (2)

Trapani, April 20 - Italian police on Thursday seized assets including a construction firm, a villa and 23 motor vehicles from a jailed cousin of fugitive Cosa Nostra No.1 Matteo Messina Denaro. Police said the assets taken from detained construction entrepreneur Giovanni Filardo were worth millions of euros. Messina Denaro, now 53, has been on the run since 1993 and is on Interpol's list of the world's 10 most wanted fugitives. He has not been seen in public in over 20 years. An informant in 2014 helped authorities update their facial composite of the Mafia boss. Last month a trial began in Caltanissetta in which he is accused of being among those who ordered the 1992 bomb murders of anti-Mafia magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. Cosa Nostra mobsters turned State's witnesses Francesco Geraci and Vincenzo Sinacori told investigators Messina Denaro took part in a September 1991 Mafia summit to plan Falcone's assassination. Jailed boss of bosses Toto' Riina, who allegedly chaired that summit, has already been convicted of ordering the hits on Falcone and Borsellino. Another former Mafia No.1, Bernardo Provenzano, who died in jail last July, was also found guilty of commissioning the murders. Falcone was assassinated by a huge bomb under the Palermo-Palermo airport highway at Capaci along with his wife Franvesca Morvillo and three police escorts on May 23, 1992. Borsellino was killed by a massive car bomb on July 19, 1992, together with his five police escorts in the via D'Amelio near his mother's home in Palermo.

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