According to a warrant, a coded note concealed inside a chair leg played a role in Matteo Messina Denaro, the most sought Mafia boss in Italy, being apprehended.
One month before his arrest in the Sicilian city Palermo in January, police discovered the note at his sister Rosalia’s home during a clandestine investigation.
On Friday, Rosalia Messina Denaro was also detained in Sicily.
Her 60-year-old sibling is suspected of eluding justice with assistance from relatives after spending 30 years on the run.
He was prosecuted and given a life sentence in prison in absentia in 2002 for a succession of killings for which he is said to be a boss of the infamous Cosa Nostra Mafia.
After being treated for cancer under a false identity at a private clinic in Palermo, he was eventually apprehended by police on January 16th.
His arrest was carried out with the assistance of more than 100 military personnel.
Rosalia Messina Denaro, better known as Rosetta, 67, was arrested in Sicily on Friday on suspicion of mafia involvement after the Carabinieri, the Italian police, issued a 57-page arrest warrant outlining some of the events that led to her brother’s earlier detention.
According to the search warrant, during an operation in December, police tried to install a listening device inside Rosalia’s residence in the west of the island town of Castelvetrano when they discovered a message within the leg of an aluminum chair.
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The note, which at first glance appeared to be a mishmash of words, symbols, and characters, was photographed by the officers and then put where it was discovered.
The note was actually a pizzino, a tiny piece of paper written in code that Messina Denaro used to contact his associates and family.
A picture of the note that was discovered concealed in Rosalia Messina Denaro’s residence IMAGE SOURCE, CARABINIERI
a picture of the message discovered concealed in Rosalia Messina Denaro’s residence
Analysis revealed that it detailed a man’s battle with colon cancer, and investigators turned their attention to Messina Denaro after making sure that none of his relatives had been given a similar cancer diagnosis.
The “historic consequence of the capture… arose from a note, imprudently preserved, albeit hidden, by Rosetta”, a judge noted in the warrant.
She is said to have played a prominent part in her mafia family, functioning as treasurer, with investigators alleging she corresponded with her brother under the code name “Fragolone”, or “large strawberry”.
A woman with “origins and customs all influenced by an orthodox and rock-hard mafia culture,” according to the warrant, is named Rosalia.
According to the search warrant, she is being looked into for participating in the mafia organization, committing crimes while a member, aiding her brother in evading multiple jail terms and maintaining his position as the organization’s boss, and ensuring that other members of the organization could contact him while he was hiding from the police.