Languages
Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Arrested Mafia leader found dead

Gaetano Lo Presti, being arrested on 16 December 2008
Gaetano Lo Presti was one of dozens of people arrested on Tuesday

A suspected Mafia leader has hanged himself in prison in Sicily hours after being arrested, Italian police say.

Gaetano Lo Presti, 52, was among almost 100 alleged Mafia bosses detained in a massive security operation on Tuesday.

Police said Lo Presti, alleged boss of a Sicilian Mafia clan in a district of Palermo, hanged himself in his cell.

Tuesday's raids in Sicily and the central region of Tuscany targeted Mafia suspects believed to be trying to rebuild the Sicilian Mafia.

Some 1,200 police were involved in the raids.

The Sicilian Mafia - also known as the Cosa Nostra - was dealt a huge blow with the arrest in April 2006 of its boss, Bernardo Provenzano.

He was believed to have handed the reins to Salvatore Lo Piccolo, who was then arrested in November 2007.

Police said local crime bosses had been planning to set up a Mafia council with the aim of appointing a new godfather to re-establish the group's influence.

National prosecutor Pietro Grasso said that the raids had prevented the Cosa Nostra "from rearing its head again".

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Scores held in anti-Mafia raids
16 Dec 08 |  Europe
Profile: Bernardo Provenzano
11 Apr 06 |  Europe


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific