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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 September, 2004, 13:19 GMT 14:19 UK
Sicily officials face mafia claim
Charges of helping senior mafia figures in Sicily are being brought against the island's president and 16 officials.

Prosecutors want Salvatore Cuffaro and other officials to be tried for allegedly giving mafia bosses sensitive information, helping them avoid arrest.

A judge in the regional capital of Palermo has until Friday to consider evidence submitted by prosecutors and to decide whether to allow a trial.

Mr Cuffaro denies wrongdoing and says the claims have nothing to do with him.

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