Rome

Anti-mafia prosecutor to campaign for election

Piero Grasso standing with centre-left Democratic Party

Anti-mafia prosecutor to campaign for election

Rome, December 27 - Italian anti-mafia prosecutor Piero Grasso said Thursday that he wants to throw his hat into the political ring. Grasso said he hopes to stand as a candidate with the center-left Democratic Party (PD) under Pier Luigi Bersani. But first, his application for a leave of absence from his job must be approved by judicial authorities, a decision expected in early January. Grasso and Bersani are expected to answer questions at a news conference scheduled for Friday morning. Grasso is the second anti-mafia prosecutor with hopes to run for office following an announcement by ex-Palermo prosecutor Antonio Ingroia last week saying that he will lead a coalition of centrist parties. Formerly Palermo Chief Prosecutor, Grasso was named head of Italy's Anti-Mafia operations in 2005 replacing Pier Luigi Vigna. As Palermo prosecutor, Grasso tracked down a string of top mobsters and moved ever closer to the biggest catch of all, Bernardo Provenzano, a fugitive who has been running the Mafia for most of his 42 years in hiding. Grasso worked on anti-Mafia cases in the early '90s and coordinated investigations into the 1992 bombs that murdered Italy's top two anti-Mafia invesigators and, a year later, attacked cultural and religious targets in Rome and Milan.

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