Sicilian Mob Boss Sent Hit Man to Kill Giuliani: Italian Media

Image: Sicilian Mob Boss Sent Hit Man to Kill Giuliani: Italian Media

Friday, 28 Feb 2014 06:15 PM

By Cathy Burke

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The Sicilian mob's "boss of bosses" reportedly dispatched a hit man to America in the 1980s to target Rudy Giuliani because of his friendship with an anti-mafia judge.

The audacious plot surfaced during a trial in Palermo, Sicily, where former Italian government officials are charged with agreeing to a deal with the mob in the 1990s, the New York Post reported, citing Italian media.

During the trial, it was disclosed former mobster Rosario Naimo, who moved to the United States in 1965 and became the Sicilian mob's top representative, told investigators Benedetto "The Beast" Villico came to the United States with a letter from "boss of bosses" Salvatore Riina ordering Giuliani's hit, the news agency ANSA reported.

Giuliani, who became the mayor of New York City in 1994, was a federal prosecutor in Manhattan at the time.

Naimo said the plan was never acted upon because he warned Riina if Giuliani was whacked, American authorities would "annihilate the mafia," UK newspaper The Telegraph reported.

Anti-mob judge Giovanni Falcone was later assassinated by Riina's men in 1992, the Post said.

Giuliani has talked about the mob plot before, but said it occurred while he was mayor.

"They offered $800,000 to kill me," he said last November in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

"Then toward the end of the time I was mayor, a particular mafia guy, who was convicted and put in jail for 100 years, put out a contract to kill me for $400,000. I kind of felt bad that I went down in value," Giuliani said.

The Post said the former mayor apparently was speaking of Riina, who is serving multiple life sentences.

Giuliani told Winfrey the mob targeted him because of his work as a federal prosecutor.

"I don't think anybody prosecuted more mafia members than I did," he told the talk show host. "Certainly, no one sent them to prison for the lengthy periods of time that I did."

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