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Italian Prison Too Tough On Mafia Boss Provenzano?

By David Amoruso

Are Italian authorities too harsh on imprisoned Cosa Nostra boss Bernardo Provenzano? His lawyer and family say yes. In video clips aired by Michele Santoro’s Servizio pubblico, or public affairs program, on television network LA7, viewers see an old and vulnerable Provenzano, who is unable even to use the prison telephone.

Provenzano is credited with bringing the Sicilian Mafia back to power after its power had crumbled under the leadership of Salvatore Riina. He did so while in hiding and spent forty-three years evading authorities and escaping justice until his capture in 2006.

After his arrest in 2006, Provenzano began serving life under the 41-bis maximum security regime in a prison in the city of Parma in the north of Italy (right). This prison regime was one of the reasons Provenzano’s predecessor Salvatore “Toto” Riina decided to wage war on the Italian state.

The video clips, taken from surveillance cameras inside Parma prison, come a month after a request by Provenzano’s lawyer Rosalba Di Gregorio for his immediate release from the harsh regime on health grounds was denied. According to his family the video proves their father and husband is not treated well and is in need of better care.

Provenzano’s frail health has been a recurring topic. A year ago, the imprisoned mob boss tried to commit suicide by placing a plastic bag over his head. Prison authorities claimed the attempt was part of an elaborate plot of the Mafioso to try and make himself look insane. And in December of last year, he needed surgery to reduce bleeding on his brain caused by a fall.

Check out the video below and see how the most powerful mafia boss in the world is faring behind bars:

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