A feared mafia boss nine years into a life sentence for his role in Sicily’s notorious Cosa Nostra group took on seven prison warders when they came to inspect his cell, charging them with a broomstick and biting off one warder’s finger.
Guiseppe Fanara, was serving a life sentence at Rome’s Rebibbia prison under the strict “41-bis” rules designed to prevent organised crime bosses from carrying on their nefarious business from behind bars.
Fanara, who is from Santa Elisabetta in Sicily, was arrested in 2011 on charges related to five murders and two attempted ambushes dating back to the late 1990s.
According to a report in the Italian daily Il Messagero Fanara, 60, assaulted the prison guards when they tried to make a routine inspection of his cell.
“During the altercation he (Fanara) bit off the agent’s little finger on his right hand,” the paper reported. “The finger disappeared, leading a Rome prosecutor to conclude it had been eaten.”
Fanara then charged the six other guards, with a broomstick, shouting: “I’ll slit your throats [as if you were] pigs!”
Fanara has since been transferred to the high-security Sassari prison on Sardinia, where is he facing new charges including aggravated assault and resisting arrest.
Italy was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and discussions about releasing the 74 elderly mafia dons who are considered at “high risk” from Covid-19 reached an advanced stage before being scrapped after a public outcry.
“The risk is that we’ll find the mafia virus on the streets alongside Covid-19,” Lirio Abbate, the national editor of L’Espresso, told the Guardian.
He added: “It would be a double pandemic that we mustn’t allow to happen.”
Responding to allegations that jailed gang members had been “deliberately embracing each other” in the hope of contracting Covd-19 and securing an early release Italian Justice Minister Alfonso Bonafede, insisted that the government had not approved any releases.