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Mattarella urges truth on anti-mafia judge Borsellino's slaying

SECURITY
Mattarella urges truth on anti-mafia judge Borsellino's slaying

On the 26th anniversary of anti-mafia judge Paolo Borsellino's murder in Palermo with five members of his security escort, Italy's president Sergio Mattarella said on Thursday that honouring Borsellino's memory meant "not stopping to search for the truth" behind the slaying.

"Twenty-six years on," said Mattarella, "the memories and emotion surrounding the cowardly attack in Via d'Amelio (In Palermo) are still alive," Mattarella said in a speech.

"Honouring the memory of magistrate Borsellino and the persons escorting him also means not stopping to seek the truth on that massacre," he said

Cosa Nostra bosses including the late Salvatore Totò Riina and Bernardo Provenzano as well as Giovanni Brusca were jailed for the Via d'Amelio killings on 19 July 1992 and the for murder of Borsellino's fellow anti-mafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone and his wife, also in a bomb attack, on 23 May the same year.

Several mysteries surround Borsellino's murder including the disappearance of a bag of his containing his personal diary and why his police protection was not increased following similar killings - questions still being probed by prosecutors.

The killings were part of a campaign of terror waged by the Sicilian mafia after the Italian state imposed tough prison conditions for its jailed members, according to Italian prosecutors.

Borsellino was "an exemplary magistrate: principled, reserved, brave and determined," said Mattarella, a Sicilian who entered politics after his brother was murdered by the mafia.

"His investigations represented milestones in the fight against the mafia in Sicily," Mattarella said.

"Together with his friend and colleague Giovanni Falcone, Borsellino became the true symbol of an Italy that fights on and does not surrender to organised crime," he said.

In remarks on Thursday, populist premier Giuseppe Conte also said it was a "duty for Italy" to seek the truth about the murder of Borsellino and the five members of his security detail.

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