Francesco Schiavone, one of the two historical leaders of the clan from Casal di Principe, in the province of Caserta, will begin to collaborate with the State; This is the news launched on March 30 by the newspaper “Cronache di Caserta”. The Camorra leader has been detained since July 11, 1998, when he was arrested in a spectacular raid inside a bunker in the town of Caserta. The decision to collaborate with justice must, however, be received with calm and caution. Indeed, the declarations that he decides to make, the possible mechanisms that he will reveal, the links between crime and politics that he deems useful to denounce will have to be carefully weighed. In any case, the the choice of collaboration marks a turning point symbolism difficult to erase.

Who is Francesco Schiavone

Talking about “Sandokan” – the name by which he was known due to his vague resemblance to actor Kabir Bedi, protagonist of the famous television series of the mid-1970s – is like flipping through the pages of the country's history. province of Casertaand in particular the Camorra clan which is hegemonic there.

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Originally from Casal di Principe, after the still mysterious disappearance of the historic founder of the clan, Antonio Bardellino, which occurred in 1988 in Brazil, in the company of Francesco Bidognetti takes charge of the Camorra cartel. In a short time, the Casalesi clan will consolidate itself as one of the largest and most powerful Italian and international criminal organizations.

The clan literally had the world of politics and business in its hands.. Not to mention the extortion racket, the management of the waste cycle and the cement cycle. The criminal group has always been characterized by a particularly strong business acumen. With this ability, he combined impressive firepower, capable of winning criminal wars that helped him gain notoriety.

Justice collaborators: an idea from Giovanni Falcone

To stem the phenomenon of organized crime, Giovanni Falcone promoted the introduction of justice collaborators protection program (l. 82/1991). Institute which was strengthened in 2001, setting a maximum deadline of 180 days for collaborators to provide information useful to investigations. The 2001 legislation also established a clear distinction between collaborators and court witnesses.

Essentially, the witness is a person who is not actively involved in the crimes for which he or she is giving testimony. The justice collaborator, for his part, signs a contract with the State. In exchange for relevant information about the criminal organization of which he was a member or with whom he came into contact, the State grants him a wide range of advantages, protection and economic support for themselves and their family members.

In 2021, the director of the Central Protection Service, General Paolo Aceto, heard by the Parliamentary Anti-Mafia Commission, declared that the current number of justice collaborators amounts to just over a thousand people, including 964 men and 43 women.

The arrest of Francesco Schiavone and the contribution of justice collaborators

Thanks to the Central Protection Service sought by Falcone, it is it was possible to celebrate the Spartacus trial. This is one of the most important trials against organized crime, which lasted from 1998 to 2010, carried out against the Casalesi clan. The investigations by the Anti-Mafia Investigations Directorate in 1993 were in fact initiated by the revelations of justice collaborator Carmine Schiavone, a former member of the clan and cousin of the boss of Casal di Principe himself.

Collaboration of the last allowed justice to reconstruct the genesis of the criminal group, internal mechanisms, links with the economic and political world, methods of dumping toxic waste and much more. All this, as in other cases, was made possible thanks to the special role of collaborators and the extraordinary intuition of Giovanni Falcone.


[1] Parliamentary anti-mafia commission – Hearing of the director of the Central Protection Service

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