(Palermo, September 30
) is an Italian mafioso
from the Brancaccio
quarter in Palermo
. He is currently serving several life sentences.
The brothers Giuseppe and Filippo Graviano became members of the Sicilian Mafia Commission for the Brancaccio-Ciaculli mandamento, substituting Giuseppe Lucchese who was in prison. As such they were among the Mafia bosses held responsible for the murders of the Antimafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.
Mafia bomb attacks in 1993
After the arrest of Mafia boss Totò Riina
in January 1993, the remaining bosses, among them Giuseppe Graviano, Matteo Messina Denaro
, Giovanni Brusca
, Leoluca Bagarella
, Antonino Gioè
and Gioacchino La Barbera
came together a few times (often in the Santa Flavia area in Bagheria
, on an estate owned by the mafioso Leonardo Greco
). They decided on a strategy to force the Italian state to retreat. That resulted in a series of bomb attacks in 1993 in the Via dei Georgofili in Florence
, in Via Palestro in Milan
and in the Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano and Via San Teodoro in Rome
, which left 10 people dead and 93 injured as well as damage to centres of cultural heritage such as the Uffizi
The Graviano brothers, including the eldest one Benedetto Graviano were seen as the organizers of the operation, in particular to select the men who would carry out to bombings. Giuseppe and Filippo Graviano both received a life sentence for the bombings.
Murder of Antimafia priest
Giuseppe and Filippo Graviano ordered the murder of the Antimafia priest Pino Puglisi
on September 15
. Puglisi was the pastor of San Gaetano’s Parish in the rough Palermo neighborhood of Brancaccio, and spoke out against the Mafia. One of the hitmen who killed Puglisi, Salvatore Grigoli
, later confessed and revealed the priest’s last words as his killers approached: “I’ve been expecting you.”
Filippo and Giuseppe Graviano were arrested on January 27, 1994, and have been in prison since. They are convicted for the Mafia bombings in Florence and Rome in 1993 and ordering the killing of Pino Puglisi. The two jailed brothers managed to impregnate their wives despite harsh regulations forbidding conjugal visits. Investigators realised the two men had fathered children while behind bars when their wives came to visit with babies. They believe that the two men used couriers to smuggle out their sperm.
Links with Berlusconi
According to the pentito Antonino Giuffrè
the Graviano brothers were the intermediairies between Cosa Nostra and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi
. Cosa Nostra decided to back Berlusconi's Forza Italia
party from its foundation in 1993, in exchange for help in resolving the mafia's judicial problems. The mafia turned to Forza Italia when its traditional contacts in the discredited Christian Democrat
party proved unable to protect its members from the rigours of the law.
According to Giuffrè, the Graviano's treated directly with Berlusconi through the business-man Gianni Ienna, somewhere between September/October 1993. The alleged pact fell apart in 2002. Cosa Nostra had achieved nothing. There were no revisions of Mafia trials, no changes in the law of asset seizures and no changes in the harsh article 41-bis prison regime.
Sister takes over
While the two brothers serve their sentences, control of the Graviano-clan had passed to their sister, Nunzia Graviano
, known as picciridda
(the baby), reinvesting the family's financial assets and modernising its business. "She is the alter ego of her brothers in their territory and capable of managing a vast fortune," according to the prosecution. She may be the first woman to have acted as "regent" for a leading Mafia family. She reportedly followed the Milan stock market
on teletext and was an avid reader of the financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore
. Much of the Graviano's wealth was invested in Italian blue-chip companies. She was also laundering some of the money abroad through a financial consultancy in Luxemburg
. Nunzia Graviano was arrested in July 1999 in Nice
The third brother Benedetto Graviano
, who has served a five year sentence for Mafia conspiracy, has been arrested in July 2004 for cocaine trafficking. He allegedly financed 18 kilograms of cocaine in a joint venture with a 'Ndrangheta
clan. The cocaine was distributed among the jet set in Palermo. After his release for insufficient evidence, he was arrested again in February 2005. Benedetto Graviano had taken over the command in the Brancaccio area after the arrest of regent Giuseppe Guttadauro
. The Mafia family of Santa Maria di Gesù had tried to take over the Brancaccio area, but Cosa Nostra’s boss Bernardo Provenzano
decided to re-instate the Graviano’s.
Giuseppe Graviano recently gained an academic degree in mathematics and his brother Filippo in economics.
- Jamieson, Alison (2000). The Antimafia. Italy’s Fight Against Organized Crime. London: MacMillan Press. ISBN 0-333-80158-X.