Italian senator, ex-minister to be tried for secret talks with mafia
Italian senator Marcello Dell`Utri, an ally of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, and former interior minister Nicola Mancino are among 10 people to be tried.
Rome: Italian senator Marcello Dell`Utri, an ally of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, and former interior minister Nicola Mancino are among 10 people to be tried for secret state-mafia negotiations in the 1990s.
Four former mafia bosses and three former police chiefs will also stand trial for "violence and threats against state institutions".
Mancino will also stand trial for providing false testimony.
Massimo Ciancimino, the son of a former mayor of Palermo, will be tried for mafia association.
The trial will begin on May 27 in Palermo.
"I do not agree with this decision and am sure that the evidence I provided at preliminary hearings to prove my total innocence of the charges against me will be rapidly accepted by the court," Mancino said.
Former minister and MP Calogero Mannino, also accused of "violence and threats against state institutions" will be tried in a separate, fast-track trial starting later in March.
Two leading anti-mafia prosecutors, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, were both killed in bomb attacks in 1992. Another 22 people were killed in blasts at national monuments in Florence and Rome.
Prosecutors allege that in exchange for a halt to the violence, prison conditions were reportedly eased for hundreds of imprisoned mafia members.