Provenzano plea to escape top-security regime turned down

Severino says ill-health appeal doesn't stand up

Provenzano plea to escape top-security regime turned down

Palermo, April 15 - Justice Minister Paola Severino on Tuesday turned down a plea from former Cosa Nostra head Bernardo Provenzano to remove him from a top-security prison regime due to his declining health. "Having examined the documentation presented by the lawyers, I feel it (the request) is not warranted," Severino said. The lawyers argued that Provenzano's failing mental and physical health no longer made him a risk. Arrested in 2006 after 43 years on the run, Provenzano has been subjected to the so-called 41-bis treatment for Italy's most dangerous criminals. They can be kept in single-person cells in maximum-security jails, almost entirely cut off from the outside world in order to prevent further criminal activity. The ex-mafia chieftain, once nicknamed 'The Bulldozer', is serving life for various murders including ordering fatal bomb attacks on anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992.

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