World

Italy's president to testify behind closed doors in Mafia negotiation trial

  • Convicted Mafia boss Toto Riina's lawyer Luca Cianferoni arrives at the Quirinale Presidential palace in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. Italy's president will testify in the trial of a former government official accused of negotiating with Mafia bosses to end terror bombings in the 1990s. President Giorgio Napolitano, 89, is to testify behind closed doors Tuesday when the trial moves from Palermo to Rome for the day. Journalists and opposition politicians on Monday demanded that the media, including live TV, be allowed to cover Napolitano's testimony. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Convicted Mafia boss Toto Riina's lawyer Luca Cianferoni arrives at the Quirinale Presidential palace in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. Italy's president will testify in the trial of a former government official accused of negotiating with Mafia bosses to end terror bombings in the 1990s. President Giorgio Napolitano, 89, is to testify behind closed doors Tuesday when the trial moves from Palermo to Rome for the day. Journalists and opposition politicians on Monday demanded that the media, including live TV, be allowed to cover Napolitano's testimony. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Convicted Mafia boss Toto Riina's lawyer Luca Cianferoni arrives at the Quirinale Presidential palace in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. Italy's president will testify in the trial of a former government official accused of negotiating with Mafia bosses to end terror bombings in the 1990s. President Giorgio Napolitano, 89, is to testify behind closed doors Tuesday when the trial moves from Palermo to Rome for the day. Journalists and opposition politicians on Monday demanded that the media, including live TV, be allowed to cover Napolitano's testimony. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Convicted Mafia boss Toto Riina's lawyer Luca Cianferoni arrives at the Quirinale Presidential palace in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. Italy's president will testify in the trial of a former government official accused of negotiating with Mafia bosses to end terror bombings in the 1990s. President Giorgio Napolitano, 89, is to testify behind closed doors Tuesday when the trial moves from Palermo to Rome for the day. Journalists and opposition politicians on Monday demanded that the media, including live TV, be allowed to cover Napolitano's testimony. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

  • A lawyer holds a folder as he makes his way to the Quirinale Presidential palace in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. Italy's president will testify in the trial of a former government official accused of negotiating with Mafia bosses to end terror bombings in the 1990s. President Giorgio Napolitano, 89, is to testify behind closed doors Tuesday when the trial moves from Palermo to Rome for the day. Journalists and opposition politicians on Monday demanded that the media, including live TV, be allowed to cover Napolitano's testimony. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    A lawyer holds a folder as he makes his way to the Quirinale Presidential palace in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. Italy's president will testify in the trial of a former government official accused of negotiating with Mafia bosses to end terror bombings in the 1990s. President Giorgio Napolitano, 89, is to testify behind closed doors Tuesday when the trial moves from Palermo to Rome for the day. Journalists and opposition politicians on Monday demanded that the media, including live TV, be allowed to cover Napolitano's testimony. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

Prosecutors and judges have arrived at Italy's presidential palace for an unprecedented hearing to take testimony from the head of state in the trial of a former government official accused of negotiating with Mafia bosses to end terror bombings in the 1990s.

Prosecutors want to question President Giorgio Napolitano about communications he had with a now-deceased aide whose dealings with the main suspect, former Interior Minister Nicola Mancino, are being investigated.

Mancino is on trial for allegedly negotiating with the Mafia following the 1993 bombings of churches in Rome, the Uffizi museum in Florence, and a Milan park. Mancino has denied any negotiations.

Napolitano has said he had nothing useful to tell the court. But he agreed to testify.

The hearing occurred behind closed doors with no media present.