Police Investigate Doctor who Treated Mafia Boss Messina Denaro When Under Fugitive, Judge Calls Healthy Enough to Serve Prison Sentence
The arrest of Messina Denaro. (Source: Screenshot of the YouTube channel Arma dei Carabinieri)

JAKARTA - Italian police are investigating a doctor who treated Italian mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro while on the run, suspecting him of collaborating, while public prosecutors say he is healthy enough to serve his sentence.

Messina Denaro, 60, was arrested Monday at a private clinic in Palermo after 30 years on the run, being held in the central Italian city of L'Aquila, Palermo's prosecutor said. He was transferred from Sicily on the day of his arrest.

Investigators believe Messina Denaro was taken Monday to the La Maddalena Palermo clinic from Campobello in Mazara to be treated for cancer. The town was home to his aide Giovanni Luppino, who was arrested with him.

In this regard, police are investigating medical doctor Alfonso Tumbarello on suspicion of aiding and abetting the mafia boss, a judicial source said.

It said the doctor was treating Messina Denaro, who was undergoing anticancer treatments under a fake name.

Sources said he named Andrea Bonafede, who is the owner of the apartment Messina Denaro lives in, and who is also being investigated.

Despite her illness, prosecutors said Messina Denaro was well enough to serve prison time, where she will continue her cancer treatment.

Nicknamed "U Siccu" (The Skinny One), Messina Denaro received 20 life sentences in a trial held in absentia for his role in a series of mob killings, including the bomb attack that killed anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992.

"This is a day of celebration when we can tell our children that the mafia can be defeated," said Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who flew directly to Sicily when news of the arrests broke, underscoring the importance of Messina Denaro's arrest.

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