AN ITALIAN mafia boss convicted of murdering a 13-year-old boy and dissolving him in acid was released from prison after he complained of feeling depressed.
The decision to allow godfather Salvatore “Vito” Vitale, a member of Cosa Nostra, out of prison on compassionate grounds enraged victims of organised crime. The mobster was part of a gang that kidnapped 11-year-old Giuseppe Di Matteo in November 1993 to gag his father, a gangster who had become an informer.
They held the boy for more than two years in a bid to force his father to retract the testimony he had given to police. When that failed, they strangled the youngster and dissolved his body in a tub of acid to get rid of the evidence. Vitale, who allegedly supplied the acid, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
However, the court accepted his lawyers’ arguments that he is suffering from diabetes, depression and a heart condition and should no longer be kept behind bars. He is now back at home in Palermo, Sicily, after magistrates ruled he should be released on compassionate grounds. An association of victims of mafia violence condemned the court’s decision as disgraceful.
Spokeswoman Giovanna Maggiani Chelli said: “Criminals who are condemned to life sentences, who then become sick, should be sent to hospital for treatment and then, as soon as they have recovered, be returned to prison.”