Mercoledì 16 Ottobre 2019 | 06:53

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Nuoro
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Il Biancorosso

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i più letti

Sicilian bandit Giuliano's body exhumed

(ANSA) - Palermo, October 28 - The body of post-war Sicilian bandit Salvatore Giuliano was exhumed on Thursday to allow for a new autopsy, complete with DNA tests, to verify his identity. The initiative is part of a probe opened by prosecutors in Palermo after historian Giuseppe Casarrubea, working with researcher Mario J. Cereghino, pr...
Sicilian bandit Giuliano's body exhumed
(ANSA) - Palermo, October 28 - The body of post-war Sicilian bandit Salvatore Giuliano was exhumed on Thursday to allow for a new autopsy, complete with DNA tests, to verify his identity.
The initiative is part of a probe opened by prosecutors in Palermo after historian Giuseppe Casarrubea, working with researcher Mario J.
Cereghino, presented a study which highlighted "contradictions" contained in the official report into the death of the bandit, who was shot and killed the night of July 4, 1950 in a courtyard in Castelvetrano, outside Palermo. On hand for the exhumation at the cemetery in Montelepre, the bandit's home town near Palermo, was Palermo Assistant Chief Prosecutor Antonio Ingroia who later told the press "the body inside the coffin was that of a man, who had already been subjected to an autopsy and who had injuries compatible with gunshot wounds".
"The medical examiner is still not sure whether it will be possible to carry out DNA tests on the remains found.
However, considering 60 years have passed the body was in a good state of preservation," he added.
The public was banned from the cemetery but the bandit's nephew, Salvatore Sciortino, was there and told the press "being a relative I hope the body is not my uncle Salvatore's.
It would be nice to think he got away and made a new life for himself somewhere". "I don't know which family member they'll use for the DNA comparison.
They haven't asked me," he added. Sciortino also denied that his uncle was responsible for his most infamous crime: the 1947 Portella della Ginestra massacre in which the bandit and his gang allegedly opened fire on workers taking part in May Day celebrations, killing 11 people and injuring 33 others.
"Giuliano had nothing to do with that.
It was carried out by others in order to set an example because people were afraid the Communists would come to power (in Sicily).
My uncle was 500 meters away and with his weapons he couldn't have hit anyone from that distance," the bandit's nephew said.
"The evidence showed that the rifles used for the massacre were military issue.
Innocent people paid the price for Portella della Ginestra and as long as it remains a state secret, we'll never know the truth," he added. Giuliano, Sciortino said, "was a hero in the Sicilian independence struggle, as my mother Mariannn was.
The Carabinieri police he killed were not like the Carabinieri of today, they were invaders and there was a war of liberation going on".
"I would like to see Giuliano remembered as a symbol of a repressed and exploited south.
He was the leader of the military arm of a movement for the liberation of Sicily, the Palermo Brigade, not the head of the 'Giuliano gang' as the State claims," he added. "The Palermo Brigade was made up of five divisions, four composed of men and one of women.
And the women's division was led by my mother," Sciortino recalled. In the report Casarrubea gave magistrates, he argued that "there is substantial evidence to suggest that the body photographed in the courtyard and in the morgue in Castelvetrano may not be the same person known as the bandit Salvatore Giuliano, as pictured in dozens of other photographs and in footage filmed in December 1949". There are some who believe Giuliano's death was faked to allow the bandit to leave Sicily in exchange for his silence regarding links between his activities and powers in Rome.
If Casarrubea's theory proves correct, it will be the second time that the official version of Giuliano's death has been overturned.
The first was soon after the bandit, who rose to almost Robin Hood-like status, was killed, allegedly in a shootout with Carabinieri police.
Thanks to investigative reporter Tommaso Besozzi it was discovered that the shootout had been staged and Giuliano had been betrayed and gunned down in cold blood by his cousin, Gaspare Pisciotta, who was later poisoned in Palermo's Ucciardone Prison. Pisciotta is buried in the Montelepre cemetery as well. Casarrubea is also the author of a book on the Portella della Ginestra massacre in which he maintained that the massacre was commissioned by right-wing politicians in Rome with the blessing of the United States. This because an alliance of the Communist and Socialists parties had won an unexpected majority in elections for a constituent assembly for the autonomous region of Sicily ten days before.

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