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Trial in deal between Mafia, government begins in Sicily

May 27, 2013 at 3:22 PM

PALERMO, Italy, May 27 (UPI) -- A trial in Sicily of police, gangsters and former politicians accused of making secret deals after bomb attacks in the 1990s began Monday, court documents said.

Twelve people, including former Italian Interior Minister Nicola Mancino, have been charged with collusion to negotiate government leniency toward Mafia figures in exchange for an end to the Mafia terrorism in Italian cities, the television channel Euronews reported Monday.

At a hearing Monday in Palermo, Mancino, suspected of providing false testimony, said he hoped to see charges against him thrown out.

Twenty years ago the Mafia and the state were in a virtual war, Euronews said, adding allegations the government gave in to Mafia demands to restore calm have yet to be proven.

Mafia bosses, police officers and Massimo Ciancimino, the son of late Palermo Mayor Vito Ciancimino, are among those charged, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

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