Rudy's Friendship with Falcone Cause of Mafia Death Threats

The Sicilian mafia ordered the assassination of former mayor of New York Rudolph Giuliani, a court in Palermo has heard, according to the UK's Mail Online. (Another surprising revelation from a separate trial in January unearthed a plot to blow up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.)

So know we actually have, in the form of Italian court records, corroboration for a claim Giuliani has been making for years. (More recently, we learned the Sicilian Cosa Nostra also had plans to whack former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, until they learned the extent of his security detail.)

Giovanni Falcone fearlessly hunted the Sicilian Mafia.
As we reported, Giuliani claimed that the Mafia in Sicily put an $800,000 contract on his head; He said this repeatedly as we note in the above linked story. He also repeated this as a guest on Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable-channel show, "Oprah: Where Are They Now." A the Mail reported, which jibes with our take: "the onetime prosecutor and mayor seemed to relish that he was once important enough to be a target for organize crime."

The brutish Salvatore ‘Toto’ Riina, allegedly planned the hit when Giuliani was a state prosecutor in the 1980s. The American mob told him not to even try such a caper; Giuliani would wipe them out.

Riina must've really started wondering about these American wiseguys... Riina never feared such things happening to him, because he always struck first, ordering death like slices in a pizzeria.

Giuliani became a target because of his friendship with Sicilian anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, who led a crack-down on the Cosa Nostra clans. Falcone's death was an utter tragedy. On May 23, 1992, Mafia hit men detonated a roadside bomb that killed Giovanni Falcone, his wife, and three bodyguards as they drove near Palermo, Italy. The assassination was payback for all the Mafia criminals Falcone had put behind bars as a prosecutor and judge.

"The Best"

His death, however, inadvertently finally hammered the truth into the ears of all Italians, many of whom even then didn't believe there was a Mafia. Now, Italians often can recall where they were and what they were doing when they heard Falcone had finally been killed (much as in the U.S., everyone remembers where they were when JFK was shot.)

The plot against New York's former mayor was revealed in evidence from so-called supergrass [a grass is Brit for a rat, don't know how they came up with that derivation] Rosario Naimo, at a trial in Sicily in which representatives of the Italian state are accused of signing a peace treaty with the Mafia in the 1990s, which is a quite amazing story in its own right.

Former mafioso Naimo told the prosecutor that Riina, who is serving multiple life sentences for dozens of homicides, dispatched his henchman to the U.S. to organize the murder, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Naimo, who lived in the U.S. for years, claims a sworn Mafioso named Benedetto Villico approached him with a letter from Riina, nicknamed the Beast because of his love for violence. {The Beast also is one of the many names for Satan, but we digress...]

The letter ordered Giuliani’s death.

While Giuliani's own clampdown in the U.S. won him national acclaim, Falcone was assassinated by Riina’s cohorts in 1992.

Riina was known for his tendency to target high-profile officials in an attempt to scare them into dropping cases. (He also had a less-frightening title- The Short One- based on his height.)

Naimo became a member of the Sicilian Mafia in 1965 and was thought by police to be its head when he moved to the U.S. in 1968.

Toto Riina once described Naimo as being 'more powerful than the President of the United States'.

Mafia Plotted to Bomb Leaning Tower of Pisa
It was revealed during another trial in January that the Mafia had plotted to blow up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a medieval structure in Pisa, Italy, famous for the settling of its foundation, which caused it to lean 5.5 about 15 feet from the perpendicular in the late 20th century.

The plot was hatched in 1992, when the Mafia had declared war on the state, embarking on a series of attacks on police and judges, as well as civilian targets such as museums and trains.

High-level informant (yes, another supergrass) Gioacchino La Barbera told the court in Janurary how convicted terrorist Paolo Bellini suggested the target to his Mafia associates during the years of terror.

Bellini, nicknamed The Black Primrose, said that they should stop bombing civilian targets and hit Italy’s artistic treasures instead.

But the explosives for the attack were eventually discovered by the police.

The plot was shelved after sweeping arrests in 1993, including Riina, the court was told.