Italy: Mafia 'Pope' dies in Rome clinic

Rome, 13 Feb. (AKI) - Convicted Mafia boss and so-called 'Pope' Michele Greco, 83, died on Wednesday of unknown causes in a Rome clinic, where he was admitted several weeks ago.

Until he fell ill, Greco (photo) was serving several life sentences in Rome's high-security Rebibbia prison. He was dubbed the Mafia 'Pope' for his legendary ability to mediate between feuding Mafia families in the Sicilian city of Palermo.

Greco, an ally of jailed Mafia "boss of bosses" Toto Riina, was arrested on February 20, 1986, after four years on the run. He had a copy of the bible by his bedside.

Greco was tried on charges of having ordered 78 murders. These included those of the anti-Mafia magistrate Rocco Chinnici and three others a 1983 a car bomb, and the murder of the prefect of Palermo, Gen. Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, on 3 September, 1982.

At the end of the trial, on December 16, 1987, Greco, then aged 63, was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to life imprisonment.


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