Mafia linkman back behind bars

ROME - Italian police said yesterday they had arrested the man who handled the economic interests of jailed Mafia top boss Bernardo Provenzano.

ROME - Italian police said yesterday they had arrested the man who handled the economic interests of jailed Mafia top boss Bernardo Provenzano.

Giuseppe Lipari, 72, had been released from another jail term last year.

He was picked up early yesterday in his villa near Palermo, the Sicilian capital, local police official Piero Angeloni said.

Authorities believe Lipari helped Provenzano, a fugitive for more than 40 years before his arrest, and other top mobsters manage their financial assets through a network of fronts, Angeloni said.

Lipari continued running Provenzano's business even after the reputed Cosa Nostra's No. 1 was captured in April 2006 in a rundown farmhouse in his hometown of Corleone, Sicily, authorities said.

Lipari had already been convicted of criminal association in the past, spending a total of 13 years in jail.

He attempted to become a state informant in 2002, but authorities called his bluff, the Ansa news agency said.

His last prison term ended two days after Provenzano was captured, Angeloni said. - Sapa-AP

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