Life sentences confirmed for mafia members

March 18, 2013 at 4:41 PM

PALERMO, Italy, March 18 (UPI) -- An Italian appeals court on Monday confirmed the life sentences of mobsters who were involved in the murder of the son of an informant.

The life sentences handed to Brancaccio mafia boss Giuseppe Graviano, fugitive Trapani boss Matteo Messina Denaro, Francesco Giuliano, Salvatore Benigno and Luigi Giacolone were all confirmed by the Palermo appeals court's ruling Monday, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

The court also raised the damages to be paid to the mother and brother of the victim; the mother's compensation was raised from $129,580 to $388,740 and the brother's increased from $64,790 to $194,370.

The five defendants were convicted of Giuseppe Di Matteo, the 11-year-old son of former mobster Santino Di Matteo in November 1993. They then held him captive for more than two years before strangling him and dissolving his body in acid in January 1996.

Santino Di Matteo allegedly participated in the assassination of Judge Giovanni Falcone in 1992. After his arrest in June 1993, he became a government witness.

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