Murray - Anjo W.
Interview by Susanna Jacona Salafia
Three years after his "flight" from Gela, a large town in Sicily in south Italy, Antonino Miceli, ex car-dealer and a "key" witness at an anti-racketeering maxi-trial, named "Bronx 2", victimized because of his courageous denunciations at the Court of Gela, decides to talk about his story. He reaches us by phone (through the Anti-Mafia Distrectual Direction telephone line, to prevent any interception) from a secret residence where he lives now with his family. His life, today more than yesterday, is an armored one. Perhaps it would be better to say it is not even his existence anymore, but that of another whose identity he has assumed, as part of a special Italian program of Mafia witness protection.
Antonino Miceli, together with Piero Nava (the latter having served as a witness for the court in the case of the Rosario Livatino murder and identified the Mafia killers), are the sole two cases, in Italy, of common and honest people now living under the State protection plan. The rest of the people in the program are former Mafia associates. The witness is given a new name, new city and a monthly salary by Italian Government until they find a new job: only in that way can the chances of being killed by the Mafia be reduced. Their life, habits and environment have been suddenly and completely upset just for having chosen to be honest, for breaking the wall of silence conspiracy, the Sicilian "omertà."
What happened, suddenly, in April 1994, when Miceli, after the hearings at the Bronx trial, closed his business and left Gela is still a mystery. It was said that the Carabinieri had defused, just in time, a car bomb parked in front of his home in Gela. This fact has never been confirmed, but it becomes evident that the "movements" of the cosche Mafiosi (Mafia criminal group) had made the criminal inquirers suspicious and they immediately effected Miceli's move from Gela to an unknown city and put him under a special protection plan.
Mr. Miceli, why did you escape from your native place?
Mr. Miceli, today you live hidden in a secret place but, on the other hand, 29 other dealers of Gela that chose silence and didn't collaborate with Justice now risk five years of imprisonment, charged of reticence...
Do you mean, perhaps, that even a certain isolation has also forced you to leave Gela?
Mr. Miceli, if you could, would you come back to live in Gela?