Skip to main content /WORLD /WORLD

Life in jail for son of mafia boss

Salvatore Riina
The father: "Boss of bosses" Salvatore "The Beast" Riina got life last week  

PALERMO, Sicily -- Giovanni Riina, the son of one of Sicily's top Mafia bosses, has been sentenced to life in prison for four murders committed when he was 19.

Riina, now 24, is the son of Toto 'The Beast' Riina, the former Mafia "boss of bosses" who was sentenced to life last week -- one of more than a dozen life terms for various crimes.

The sentence handed down by the Palermo court on Friday was Giovanni Riina's first life term.

The court found Riina guilty of shooting three people dead in 1995 and strangling a fourth victim before dissolving his body in acid.

The verdict was based on evidence from Mafia "supergrasses" whose evidence has been crucial in a string of Mafia trials.

Riina Jnr. was arrested in 1997 and is currently serving a five year term for association with Sicily's "Cosa Nostra" crime organisation.

His notorious father was found guilty of one of the Mafia's worst outrages, the twin bomb killings of top anti-Mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992.

Those murders sparked a major judicial onslaught on the Mafia and Sicilian courts have handed down 170 life sentences to Mafia bosses and hitmen since 1992.

Last week the court in Palermo handed down 52 life sentences to top Mafia bosses -- including Riina Snr. -- and their henchmen in connection with some 100 killings in the Italian province.

There were also 21 lesser terms ordered over deaths spanning more than two decades.

Last week's sentences were ordered after the defendants were convicted largely on the basis of testimony made 20 years ago from top Mafia turncoat Tommaso Buscetta.

Last year, informant Buscetta died at age 71 in the United States. He had been living under protection there for testifying on behalf of the government in U.S. cases.


• Italian police

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.



Back to the top