Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Karachi Killings, Sicilian Mafia & Judge Giovanni Falcone.

Omertà: (Noun) A rule or code that prohibits speaking or divulging information about certain activities, especially the activities of a criminal organization. - Omertà is a popular attitude and code of honor and a common definition is the "code of silence". It is common in areas of southern Italy, such as Sicily, Apulia, Calabria, and Campania, where criminal organizations defined as Mafia such as the Cosa Nostra, 'Ndrangheta, Sacra Corona Unita, and Camorra are strong.Omertà implies “the categorical prohibition of cooperation with state authorities or reliance on its services, even when one has been victim of a crime.” Even if somebody is convicted of a crime he has not committed, he is supposed to serve the sentence without giving the police any information about the real criminal, even if that criminal has nothing to do with the Mafia himself. Within Mafia culture, breaking omertà is punishable by death. REFERENCE: o·mer·ta http://www.thefreedictionary.com/omerta  The Mafia: The Long Reach of the International Sicilian Mafia Claire Sterling http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mafia-Long-Reach-International-Sicilian/dp/0586212345 

The CIA & the mafia

URL: http://youtu.be/Py5jlYtCQkg

Lucky Luciano - Meyer Lansky - Frank Costello - In the 1930s, Meyer Lansky and his gang claimed to have stepped outside their usual criminal activities to break up rallies held by Nazi sympathizers. Lansky recalled a particular rally in Yorkville, a German neighborhood in Manhattan, that he claimed he and 14 other associates disrupted: The stage was decorated with a swastika and a picture of Adolf Hitler. The speakers started ranting. There were only fifteen of us, but we went into action. We threw some of them out the windows. Most of the Nazis panicked and ran out. We chased them and beat them up. We wanted to show them that Jews would not always sit back and accept insults. During World War II, Lansky was also instrumental in helping the Office of Naval Intelligence's Operation Underworld, in which the US government recruited criminals to watch out for German infiltrators and submarine-borne saboteurs. According to Lucky Luciano's authorized biography, during this time, Lansky helped arrange a deal with the US Government via a high-ranking U.S. Navy official. This deal would secure the release of Lucky Luciano from prison; in exchange the Italian Mafia would provide security for the war ships that were being built along the docks in New York Harbor. German submarines were sinking allied shipping outside the coast on a daily basis and there was great fear of attack or sabotage by Nazi sympathizers. REFERENCE: But They Were Good to Their People But They Were Good to Their People http://www.ajhs.org/scholarship/chapters/chapter.cfm?documentID=260 

The Mafia and the First Republic (1948-1992).

URL: http://youtu.be/6yaYO3TlA60

Reference: FBI 100 Years: An Unofficial History By Henry M. Holden http://www.amazon.com/FBI-100-Years-Unofficial-History/dp/0760332444

GANGBUSTERS: Falcone, at left, and Borsellino were both killed in bomb attacks Photo by TONY GENTILE / A.G. SINTESI - It is perhaps a uniquely Sicilian sort of irony that an easygoing smile shared by two old friends would come to symbolize the island's darkest hour of the past 60 years. The parallel destiny of Palermo prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino began and ended in Sicily's capital, where the two were born — and killed in 1992 in successive Mafia bomb assassinations. In between, the pair nearly brought Cosa Nostra to its knees with a new methodical approach, as brilliant as it was brave, to unlocking the Mob's code of silence. And so that smile shared one day on the job — captured by a photographer just months before they were killed — now hangs in nearly every Italian judicial office (and in schools and city halls across Sicily) alongside the usual portrait of the standing head of state. That apparently serene moment was taken in a brief pause amid the passion and inbuilt risk of their life's work. Inspired by an idea of Falcone's from the early 1980s, the pair forged a strategy of rounding up scores of Mafia associates, including the small fry, as a way to chip away at the organization's foundations, while coaxing key suspects to turn state's evidence. Their efforts culminated in a series of "maxi-trials" in a bunker-like courtroom in Palermo, which led to hundreds of convictions. REFERENCE: Giovanni Falcone & Paolo Borsellino By JEFF ISRAELY Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2006 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1549798,00.html 

1992 Mafia Bombs


1992 Mafia bombs part II

URL: http://youtu.be/C9DgbIVCJBE

1992 bombs part III

URL: http://youtu.be/cF3PVB8GEts

The Maxi Trial 1

URL: http://youtu.be/cAKIpdA7wQI

The Maxi Trial 2

URL: http://youtu.be/GfUOfDb-ErY

During the course of hearing a suo moto case on the Karachi unrest, the Chief Justice of Pakistan has been asking the lawyers fraternity for the last two days to prepare a research as to how the Italian government has succeeded in weakening the role of the much-feared Sicilian mafia (Cosa Nostra) within this South-Central European nation. The News International has endeavoured to compile and submit a few vital statistical facts in this context by conducting research on this subject. It is a known verity that despite various crackdowns launched by numerous Italian governments against the dreadful mafia in their country during the last 87 years since 1925, the latter could not be eliminated completely and is still very much functional, as is the case in most developed countries like the US and Japan where underworld gangs are hard to catch. But nowhere in the developed world have these gangs and criminals succeeded in making mockery of the state, as is the case in Karachi where armed outlaws have been sending ordinary citizens to their graves at will during the last 25 years or so. Italy s superb progress on the economic front explicitly and surely proves that due to the sincere and indiscriminate state-led operations against the mafia dons in this part of the world, this country today towers above most featuring on the world map as being the eighth largest economy on the planet and the fourth largest in Europe in terms of GDP (US $2.055 trillion). (References: The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the CIA World Fact Book, 2010) REFERENCE: Govt operations against crime syndicates make Italy flourish Sabir Shah Friday, September 09, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=66757&Cat=6&dt=9/9/2011 

History - The Sicilian Mafia [1-5]

History - The Sicilian Mafia [2-5]

Italy has last year succeeded in exporting merchandise worth $458.4 billion (Source: International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook Database, 2010). This far smaller European nation had achieved this feat with a labour force of hardly 24.98 million, whereas Pakistan s labour force numbers stand at nearly 56 million. Italy s area (301,338 square kilometres) is just 39.18 per cent of Pakistan s 796,095 square kilometres. In terms of total land area under its control, Italy rests at 72nd position in the world, while Pakistan happens to be 36th in this context. (Reference: CIA World Fact Book 2011). In terms of populace, Italy just has 60.6 million inhabitants or just 35.52 per cent of Pakistan s total population of 170.6 million. While Italy is world s 23rd most populated nation, Pakistan rests at 6th position in this ranking. Italy owns the world s 16th largest forex and gold reserves of $158.9 billion, compared to Pakistan s paltry $17.21 billion. Compared to Pakistan s per capita GDP of $2,400, Italy is miles ahead with healthy figure of $30,500. (Reference: CIA World Fact Book, 2011). Pakistan, interestingly, has the 47th largest nominal GDP of US $174.8 billion in the world (Source: The World Fact Book of the American Central Investigation Agency) and its exports rest at only $ 25 billion, just 5.45 per cent of Italy s total recent export tally. Alarming, isn t it! REFERENCE: Govt operations against crime syndicates make Italy flourish Sabir Shah Friday, September 09, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=66757&Cat=6&dt=9/9/2011 

History - The Sicilian Mafia [3-5]

Now, coming to a few most successful operations of different Italian governments against the crime consortiums operational during their times, the first such notable crackdown against the highly-organised Sicilian mafia of the mid-19th century was launched 86 years ago in 1925 by none other than the famous 40th Italian Prime Minister, Benito Mussolini (1883-1945). Mussolini had initiated a drive to destroy the mafia in his country, despite the fact that this frightful crime organisation had threatened and undermined his power in Sicily. As prime minister, Mussolini had visited Sicily in May 1924, where he was received by a local mayor and a formidable mafia boss called Francesco Cuccia. After PM Mussolini had rejected don Cuccia s offer of protection, the mafia boss had reportedly instructed the public under his control and command not to attend the head of government s speech. Mussolini felt humiliated and formed a small army of policemen and militiamen, which went from town to town, rounding up suspects. To force suspects to surrender, the army would take hostage the families of the criminals, sell off their property or even publicly slaughter their livestock. REFERENCE: Govt operations against crime syndicates make Italy flourish Sabir Shah Friday, September 09, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=66757&Cat=6&dt=9/9/2011 

History - The Sicilian Mafia [4-5]

In other words, the army countered horror with horror. By 1928, over 11,000 suspects were arrested. Of those apprehended by the state authorities, more than 1,200 were convicted and imprisoned. Many others were exiled without trial. Some dons even received sentences of up to 25 years. Innumerable extortionists were also taken to task by the law. The mafia hence broke up and Sicily s murder rate sharply declined during Mussolini s time. (References: History of the Mafia (Translated by Antony Shugaar) and the two Time magazine editions of October 24, 1927, January 23, 1928) The second significant operation or the Maxi Trial against the mafia was launched during the mid-1980s that saw hundreds of defendants on trial convicted for a multitude of crimes, based primarily on testimony coming from their own colleagues. The success of the Maxi Trial drew other former Mafia members to testify against their former associates. This consequently led to the shutting down of a momentous percentage of the Mafia-driven narcotics-trafficking operations. (References: The Time magazine edition of February 24, 1986 and Cosa Nostra: A history of the Sicilian Mafia by John Dickie) REFERENCE: Govt operations against crime syndicates make Italy flourish Sabir Shah Friday, September 09, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=66757&Cat=6&dt=9/9/2011 

History - The Sicilian Mafia [5-5]

A study of references cited above reveals that the Maxi Trial began on February 10, 1986. The charges faced by the defendants included 120 murders, drug trafficking and extortion etc. Of the 474 defendants - those present and those tried in absentia - some 360 were convicted. Not fewer than 2,665 years of prison sentences were shared out among the guilty, not including the life sentences handed to 19 leading Mafia bosses and killers. While judge Rocco Chinnici was murdered in July 1983, his colleagues Messrs Falcone and Borsellino had to meet the same fate at the hands of the mafia in 1992. But they never bowed to any pressure. It is imperative to note that both the above-quoted government-led operations were launched at a time when innocent people were murdered every hour during the ruthless killing sprees orchestrated by infighting between various mafia groups similar to what is happening in Karachi today. Today, in Italy, the imprisoned mafia bosses are subjected to harsh controls on their contact with the outside world, totally opposite to the situation in Karachi where criminals are heard instructing their men from inside their prison cells despite tall state claims and due to poor police functioning. The Italian mafia dons are effectively barred from running their operations from their jail cells. The Italian Parliament had effectively framed and enforced laws in this connection. (References: The Guardian of May 17, 2007, The Daily Times of November 3, 2007, BBC News of September 3, 2007 and The Sicilian Mafia: The business of private protection by Diego Gambetta). REFERENCE: Govt operations against crime syndicates make Italy flourish Sabir Shah Friday, September 09, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=66757&Cat=6&dt=9/9/2011

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