Palermo

Experts to assess mental, physical health of mafia boss

Provenzano to undergo evaluation if 'fit' for hearing

Experts to assess mental, physical health of mafia boss

Palermo, November 27 - Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano was ordered Tuesday to undergo tests of his mental and physical fitness to participate in preliminary hearings into alleged negotiations between the Mafia and State officials in the 1990s. Palermo judge Piergiorgio Morosini, who is conducting a preliminary hearing into the alleged negotiations, will appoint an expert on Thursday to assess the state of health of Provenzano. The mafia boss's lawyer, Rosalba Di Gregorio, has insisted that his client is in failing health and cannot take part in the process. Just last Saturday, Provenzano was rushed from his prison in Parma to hospital because of health problems, the lawyer said. The complex case stems from an investigation by Antonio Ingroia, a deputy chief prosecutor in Palermo, into suspicions that high-ranking politicians and police negotiated with Cosa Nostra to try to stop a series of bomb attacks that claimed the lives of anti-mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992. Charges against Mafia chieftains range from violence or threats to the political body of the State to mafia association.

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