Son of the 'mafia mayor of Palermo'
Massimo is the son of the late Vito Ciancimino who is also known as the ‘mafia mayor of Palermo’, or ‘Don Vito’. He met all the Cosa Nostra elite accompanying his father. Massimo Ciancimino is accused of 'aiding and abetting the mafia' in Judge Di Matteo’s trial. He claims he turned informer because his knowledge of collusion between the state and Cosa Nostra put him in danger.
According to Ciancimino, his father was a lot more than a mafioso. He was part of a higher level that no one ever managed to beat or even penetrate. He says it’s that higher level that ordered the murders of Judges Falcone and Borsellino.
After months of anticipation, key witness Massimo Ciancimino was ready to testify in the trial. He alleges that members of the Italian establishment conspired with the mafia and godfather Toto Riina during a wave of terror attacks 25 years ago.
Ciancimino claims that the state made a secret pact with Riina's successor. According to him the new boss of bosses, Bernardo Provenzano, was allowed to run his crime empire undisturbed by the authorities in return for ending the bombing campaign.
He says: "It was part of an agreement made in 1992. After Riina was arrested, Provenzano was free to move around Italy and take over the leadership of Cosa Nostra in exchange for ending the bloodshed."
After sharing his knowledge about the mafia, Ciancimino feels threatened: “Riina hates me more than he hates Di Matteo. I know very well that if they killed me they would give my statements a stamp of credibility. That would make me a hero. They don’t want me to be a hero,” Ciancimino says.