The prison sentence for the 70-year-old boss Leo Sutera, believed to be the head of the Sambuca mafia clan and very loyal to the fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro, was reduced on appeal from 18 years to 14 years and 6 months.
The Palermo court of appeal also confirmed the prison sentences of three mafia collaborators – the florist Maria Salvato; the boss’s driver, Vito Vaccaro; and the entrepreneur Giuseppe Tabone, sentenced to three years in prison for aiding and abetting.
Leo Sutera was first arrested in 2012, when he was detained in the ‘Nuova Cupola’ blitz. His arrest created friction within the Palermo Prosecutor’s Office. The investigators covering Agrigento clashed with then deputy prosecutor Teresa Principato, who wanted to use Sutera to lead to the more important fugitive, Matteo Messina Denaro.
As a result the Sambuca mafia boss regained his freedom. However he was re-arrested on the 29th October 2018 by the agents of the Sco and the Mobile Squad of Agrigento, at the request of the prosecutors of the Dda of Palermo (deputy prosecutor Paolo Guido, deputy prosecutors Alessia Sinatra, Geri Ferrara and Claudio Camilleri). The decision to arrest him was taken when he was intercepted discussing an escape so as to evade justice.
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