Italian president called to testify in Borsellino hearing

Wiretaps involving Napolitano will not be used, says court

Italian president called to testify in Borsellino hearing

Caltanissetta, March 22 - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has been called to testify at hearings probing the 1992 murder of anti-Mafia prosecutor Paolo Borsellino, which opened Friday in the Sicilian city of Caltanissetta. Napolitano is part of a long list of witnesses called to testify regarding alleged negotiations between the Mafia and the Italian State in the early 1990s . Among others called to testify are former Italian Interior Minister Nicola Mancino and ex-police chief Gianni De Gennaro. It has been suggested that State officials entered negotiations with Cosa Nostra in a bid to stop attacks after a long campaign of violence that culminated in two bombings in 1992, which killed anti-Mob prosecutor Giovanni Falcone, his wife, fellow prosecutor Paolo Borsellino, and several bodyguards. The court specified that recorded conversations between Napolitano and Mancino carried out during investigations would not be referred to or used in court. The Italian president has contested the recorded wiretaps and asked the Constitutional Court in October to intervene, saying that magistrates overstepped their powers by failing to destroy the recordings afterwards, as the Constitution mandates. The Constitutional Court in December ordered the tapes to be destroyed, but plans to do so have been delayed. The court said on Friday that the recordings are "manifestly irrelevant" for the hearings.

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