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ITALY: FORMER ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER GIULIO ANDREOTTI TO STAND TRIAL FOR COMPLICITY WITH MAFIA IN MURDER


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Former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti, who was for decades Italy's most powerful statesman, was on Sunday (November 5) ordered to stand trial on charges of complicity with the Mafia in the 1979 murder of a journalist.
It was the latest blow to the once-mighty 76-year-old Andreotti. He is already on trial in the Sicilian capital Palermo on charges of having been the Mafia's main political protector for years.
Examining Judge Sergio Materia set the trial to begin on February 2 in the central Italian city of Perugia.
Andreotti, a symbol of post-war Italy who served as prime minister seven times, was charged with complicity in the 1979 shooting death of Mino Pecorelli in Rome.
Magistrates allege that Andreotti commissioned the Mafia to kill Pecorelli, editor of the muckraking "OP" magazine, because he feared the journalist was about to publish information that could have destroyed his political career.
The life senator, who left Perugia after 12 hours of hearings to await the decision in Rome, denied all charges.
"My conscience is clear and that is all that counts," said Andreotti.
Materia charged Andreotti, former foreign trade minister Claudio Vitalone and convicted Mafia bosses Gaetano Badalamenti and Pippo Calo with ordering Pecorelli's killing. Mafia hitman Michelangelo La Barbera was charged with carrying it out.
Like Andreotti, Vitalone denied the charge.
"The truth is carved in every page of this trial for whoever wants to discover and the truth is the complete opposite of what the prosecution claims," said Vitalone.
All five were committed for trial at a maximum security court outside Perugia.
Top Mafia turncoat Tommaso Buscetta says Badalamenti told him Andreotti wanted the killing because Pecorelli had prepared articles on the financing of the Christian Democratic party and secrets about the 1978 kidnapping and killing of former premier Aldo Moro by Red Brigades guerrillas.
Legal experts said that if Andreotti had been cleared on the Pecorelli charges, it would have significantly weakened the case against him in Palermo.
Public prosecutor Fausto Cardella said the hearing will be a public one.


Reference 11587/95
Tape 2422
Issue
Can
Source REUTERS TELEVISION (RTV)
Restrictions Restrictions on certain uses may apply, and may vary from those listed. NONE
Time code 14.50.09 to 14.52.18
Date original NOVEMBER 4 AND 5, 1995
Duration 2.09
Technical
Subset
Location PERUGIA, ITALY
Sound NATURAL WITH ITALIAN SPEECH
Colourbw COLOUR

PERUGIA, ITALY (NOVEMBER 4 AND 5, 1995)
(RTV -- ACCESS ALL)
(NOVEMBER 4, 1995)(NIGHT)
1. GV EXT. OF THE SUPREME COURT PERUGIA 0.04
2. SV FORMER ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER GIULIO ANDREOTTI (GLASSES
AND GREY OVERCOAT) AND FORMER FOREIGN TRADE MINISTER
CLAUDIO VITALONE LEAVING THE COURT 0.13
3. SV ANDREOTTI SAYS I HAVE HEARD A GREAT MANY ARGUMENTS WHICH I
THINK SHOULD LEAD TO AN ALMOST CERTAIN CONCLUSION. BUT MY
CONSCIENCE IS CLEAR AND THAT'S WHAT COUNTS
(ITALIAN)/VARIOUS ANDREOTTI TO CAR/ CAR LEAVES (5 SHOTS) 1.06
4. SV VITALONE SAYS IT WOULD SEEM TOO SIMPLE TO ME THAT THIS
BATTLE TO RESTORE PEACE IS OVER, THE MATTER IS SIMPLE. THE
TRUTH IS CARVED IN EVERY PAGE OF THIS TRIAL FOR WHOEVER
WANTS TO DISCOVER AND THE TRUTH IS THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF
WHAT THE PROSECUTION CLAIMS. (ITALIAN) 1.30
(NOVEMBER 5, 1995)
5. SV ALFREDO GALASSO, A LAWYER OF PECORELLI'S FAMILY, SAYING
IT IS CERTAINLY AN IMPORTANT SENTENCE AS I BELIEVE FOR THE
FIRST TIME THERE IS A CHARGE OF ASSASSINATION (ITALIAN) 1.47
4. SV GIOVANI BELLINI, ANDREOTTI'S DEFENCE LAWYER SAYS THERE IS
A PHRASE THAT PARTICULARLY BOTHERED ME THAT THIS SENTENCE IS
VALID ALSO, AND ABOVE ALL, FOR THE ONE WHO ORDERED THE CRIME.
(ITALIAN) 1.55
5. SV PUBLIC PROSECUTER FAUSTO CARDELLA SAYS IT WILL BE A PUBLIC
HEARING FROM WHICH WE WILL MAKE OUR ASSESSMENT. (ITALIAN) 2.06
6. GV MEDIA AROUND CARDELLA 2.09

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