In The Hague, a man was arrested who believed to be the boss of the Sicilian mafia, known as the “Diabolik”. The detainee’s lawyer denied these reports from the very beginning. On Saturday it turned out that it was right, and instead of a mafioso, a tourist from Great Britain who came to the Formula 1 Grand Prix fell into the hands of the police. According to the information provided by the prosecutor’s office, the man is already at large.
On Wednesday evening, several police cars stopped in front of a restaurant in The Hague. Armed officers stormed inside and led the three men out. The prosecution told the Dutch NOS portal that one of them was 59-year-old Matteo Messina Denaro. Also known as “Diabolik”, the man is the undisputed capo di tutti capi of the Sicilian Mafia. The man Italians had been looking for since 1993.
The detainee turned out to be a Formula 1 supporter from Liverpool
The lawyer for the detainee in The Hague, Leon van Kleef, told the Het Parool newspaper that the prosecution had made a mistake and that his client was not at all a former mafia boss. “I informed the prosecutor’s office about it, but to no avail” – the lawyer quoted the daily.
The prosecution argued that there was no mistake, and the arrest was based on the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued by Italy.
On Saturday, however, the lawyer’s version was confirmed. The man turned out to be a 54-year-old tourist from Liverpool, who came to the Netherlands for the Formula 1 Grand Prix. According to the prosecutor’s office, he has already been released.
“Diabolik” wanted for ordering murders
Matteo Messina Denaro is wanted by the Italian justice system for ordering murders not only in Sicily, but also in Rome, Florence and Milan. He is also blamed for a series of bombings in 1993 in which the mafia tried to put pressure on the state.
As a result of the terror campaign, 10 people were killed and 93 were injured. As the Dutch daily Het Parool recalls, it was also allegedly involved in the high-profile murder of investigating judges Falcone and Borsellino in Sicily in the early 1990s.
In 2002, Denaro was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment.
Main photo source: EPA / POLICE