ROME -- Italy has granted witness-protection status -- and a $250 monthly stipend -- to a notorious Mafia boss who killed a crusading prosecutor and had a rival's son dissolved in a vat of acid.
Giovanni Brusca -- a Sicilian boss nicknamed "The Slaughterer" -- claimed responsibility in a prison memoir last year for more than 100 other killings.Crimes to which he confessed include pushing the button on a bomb that killed revered anti-Mafia prosecutor Giovanni Falcone and four others in May 1992.
The killings outraged Italy and pushed a major 1990s crackdown on the Mafia.
"It's like they've killed Giovanni all over again. The truth is his death was for nothing," Anna Falcone, sister of the slain crusader, said Saturday at news of Brusca's entry into the witness-protection program.
The head of Italy's anti-Mafia commission, Ottaviano Del Turco, called a special meeting for Tuesday to hear the witness-protection committee's explanation for its decision.
Brusca was convicted in 1998 and is serving a 21-year sentence for murder and arms and drugs smuggling. He will receive a $250 stipend while in prison in exchange for testimony against former criminal colleagues.
Italy calls such turncoats "pentiti."
In the mid-1990s, Brusca ordered the son of a turncoat rival kidnapped when the man began cooperating with prosecutors against Brusca.
In 1996, Brusca saw the news on TV that he had been convicted in absentia, and ordered the 11-year-old strangled and dissolved in acid.
- Rep. Justin Miller pleads guilty to...
- Photo gallery: Night skies over national parks
- Pres. Nelson honored by the University of Utah
- Police seek alleged drug money from woman...
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he wouldn't run...
- Is 'Speaker Chaffetz' more likely with...
- Utah man impresses all four judges on 'The...
- Inmate charged with sending threatening...
- Is 'Speaker Chaffetz' more likely with... 68
- Chaffetz's run for speaker makes... 47
- Utah cites Warren Jeffs as reason... 42
- Scholars disagree whether compromise... 41
- Gov. Herbert says latest Medicaid... 29
- Proposal calls for 900 South to be... 20
- Judge dismisses negligence lawsuit... 15
- Lawmakers hear support for Medicaid... 15