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Tuesday, 30 January, 2001, 18:50 GMT
Sicilian mafia boss arrested
1992 bombing in Palermo
Spera was convicted of murdering two anti-mafia judges
A top Sicilian mafia boss, Benedetto Spera, has been arrested by Italian police after 30 years on the run.

Benedetto Spera
Benedetto Spera - on the run for 30 years
Spera was convicted in absentia in 1992 for the killings of two prominent anti-mafia judges - Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders and has been on the police's wanted list ever since. He is also wanted in connection with a number of other killings.

Spera is right-hand-man to Bernardo Provenzano - Italy's most wanted mafia chief, who has been a fugitive for 37 years.

Police believed Mr Provenzano had died, but there have been signs in recent years that he is still alive and running the mafia.

He is credited with re-organising the Sicilian Mafia after the arrest of Toto Riina in 1993, known as the "boss of bosses".

Police arrested several other people in the operation, including Spera's doctor, for aiding and abetting the mafia's activities.

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06 Jan 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
Mafia - past and present
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