Page last updated at 17:29 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 18:29 UK

Outcry as 'sad' Mafia boss freed


An Italian senator has demanded the government intervene after a convicted Mafia boss was freed from jail because he was suffering from depression.

Anti-Mafia Commission member Carlo Vizzini called the release of Giacomo Ieni into house arrest "scandalous".

Ieni had been sentenced to eight years for racketeering, but broke down in tears in front of his parole board, saying he could not take jail any more.

The board ruled that detaining him in hospital would endanger his health.

Being with his family was "indispensable" to Ieni's well-being, it said, adding that it hoped "the affection of his family will help him recover".


The ruling by the tribunal in Catania, in eastern Sicily, infuriated prosecutors and politicians alike, who said Ieni was a danger to society.

I wonder at this point what therapy is available to the relatives of those murdered by Mafia bosses whose hands are dripping with blood?
Senator Carlo Vizzini

"A Mafia boss in a high-security regime gets depressed and is first moved to an infirmary and then sent home in the belief that his family will help get over it," said Senator Vizzini, a member of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party.

"I wonder at this point what therapy is available to the relatives of those murdered by Mafia bosses whose hands are dripping with blood?" he asked.

Another Senator, Gianpaolo Vallardi, said it was an insult and likely to demoralise those risking their lives to fight the Mafia, known as the Cosa Nostra in Sicily. He called on the justice minister to intervene.

But Ieni's lawyer, Giuseppe Lipera, said it was wrong that his client had been in prison since being arrested three years ago.

Ieni was constantly reduced to tears and had lost (25kg) 55lbs in weight, he said.

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