Probe shelved into remains of famed Sicilian bandit

DNA '90% compatible' with Salvatore Giuliano

Probe shelved into remains of famed Sicilian bandit

Palermo, January 16 - A Palermo judge has prosecutors ended a probe into the identity of the body buried in the tomb of the legendary post-war Sicialian bandit Salvatore Giuliano, a local daily said Wednesday. "DNA tests showed in October a 90% likelihood that the remains were (Giuliano's) and so the case has been filed away," said the Gironale di Sicilia newspaper. Investigations began in 2010 after historian Giuseppe Casarrubea presented a study which highlighted "contradictions" contained in the official report into the death of the bandit, who was shot and killed the night of July 4, 1950 in a courtyard in Castelvetrano, outside Palermo. "We believe that there is substantial evidence to suggest that the body photographed in the courtyard and in the morgue in Castelvetrano may not be the same person known as the bandit Salvatore Giuliano pictured in dozens of other photographs and in footage filmed in December 1949," the historian said. The body alleged to be that of Giuliano was subsequently exhumed from his family's crypt in Montelepre, also near the Sicilian capital, for DNA testing and comparisons with surviving relatives. It was initially thought that Giuliano, who enjoyed almost Robin Hood-like status, was killed in a shootout with Carabinieri police. However, thanks to investigative reporter Tommaso Besozzi, it was later discovered that the shootout had been staged and that Giuliano had been betrayed and gunned down in cold blood by his cousin, Gaspare Pisciotta, who was later poisoned in Palermo's Ucciardone Prison. (photo: a still from Francesco Rosi's Salvatore Giuliano, 1962)

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