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Paolo Borsellino

Paolo Borsellino (January 19, 1940 Palermo - July 19, 1992 Palermo) was an Italian anti-mafia judge. Born in a middle-class Palermo neighbourhood, la Magione, he obtained a degree in Law at University of Palermo , with honours, in 1962. Then, after his father's death, he passed the judging exam in 1963. During those years, he worked in many cities inside Sicily (Enna in 1965, Mazara del Vallo in 1967, Monreale in 1969). After he married in 1968, he transferred to his native Palermo in 1975 together with Rocco Chinnici , where he then started his unfinished work to fight and defeat the growing Sicilian mafia. His accomplishments included the arrest of six organization members in 1980; for the same year, one of his workmates, the carabinieri captain Emanuele Basile, was murdered by the mafia. Because of that event, he was assigned the police protection.

During those years, working together with Giovanni Falcone and Rocco Chinnici , Borsellino continued his researches about mafia and its links with political and economical powers in Sicily and Italy. In 1983, Rocco Chinnici was killed by a bomb inside his car. His place in the Antimafia Pool was taken by Antonino Caponnetto . In 1986, Borsellino became head of the Procure of Marsala, continuing there his personal campaign against the mafia bosses, in the most populated city of the province of Trapani. His links with Giovanni Falcone, remained in Palermo, allowed him to cover the entire Western Sicily for investigations. In 1987, after the Caponnetto resignation because of illness, Borsellino was protagonist of a great protest about the unsuccesfull nominee of his friend Giovanni Falcone as head of the Antimafia Pool.

In 1992, after five years of proclaimations and battles against the Mafia, Borsellino was killed by a bomb while he was coming back at his home, in Via D'Amelio, just a few days after the death of his good friend Falcone. The bomb attack also claimed the lives of five of Borsellino's bodyguards.

Salvatore Riina, the head of the Corleonisi Mafia Family, is now serving life for sanctioning the murders of Borsellino and Falcone, as well as many other crimes.

Paolo Borsellino today is considered as one of the most important judges killed by the terrific cruelty of the Sicilian mafia during the 1980s and 1990s, and he is remembered as one of the main symbols of the uninterrupted battle of law against an invisible, but dangerous, enemy. A lot of schools and public building were named after him, include the Palermo International Airport (now known as Falcone-Borsellino Airport). A memorial by local sculptor Tommaso Geraci can be found there.

Last updated: 05-07-2005 15:33:32
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04