Italian Mafia Boss Called "The Architect" Jailed

The Architect's Connections

In a recent interview Liga gave to a Siclian magazine, called "S," he boasted of his ties with Palermo-born politicians like the former mayor Leoluca Orlando and the present Governor of Sicily, Rafaele Lombardo. Hoping possibly to throw off suspicion that he had links to organized crime, "the architect" lamented in the interview that his childhood friendship with Salvatore Lo Piccolo meant that he was victim of a "misunderstanding" and that like others in the Palermo construction business he too had been forced to pay protection money to Lo Piccolo.

Italian Justice Minister Angelino Alfano called the arrests an "important result" in the fight against organized crime and law enforcement officials hailed the capture as a further "extraordinary success" following the arrests of almost 20 Cosa Nostra associates and couriers last week.

Liga was arrested with three other top mafiosi including his suspected right-hand man, Giovanni Angelo Mannino.

Sicily's governor, Rafaele Lombardo, who is not under investigation, immediately moved to distance himself from Liga and spoke of the dangers of doing business in Sicily to journalists today. He said one had to be very careful, especially in Palermo, as to who one had dealings with.

"Thank goodness! Thank God I do not receive people at my home and only in my office or at public meetings and institutions." He told ANSA.

"Anyone who comes to see me has to leave his name and address. From now on we will also snap a quick ID photo to keep on file".

"The architect" will be questioned in jail today.

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