ROME – Experts are trying to crack the code that the recently captured Cosa Nostra boss used for communicating with mobsters and other accomplices across Sicily, Italy's top gangland fighter said Wednesday.
Piero Grasso, national anti-Mafia prosecutor, said Bernardo Provenzano was typing coded notes when police burst in on him at a Sicilian farmhouse April 11, ending his 43 years on the run.
Provenzano allegedly used written notes to avoid the risk of having his communications intercepted by police phone taps.
Asked by reporters whether investigators believed any politicians would be named in the notes captured with Provenzano, Grasso said, "Many out there are afraid."
But he added that he doubted Provenzano would write down the name of any politician who helped him. "If anything, maybe the name of some intermediary" for communicating with politicians might turn up, he said.
Grasso said previously that Provenzano needed help from businessmen and politicians in Sicily to avoid capture for so many years.
He said investigators trying to decipher the code were being helped by a former top Provenzano lieutenant who became a Mafia turncoat.
Provenzano reportedly asked police to give him a Bible that was found in the farmhouse, sparking speculation the book might hold a code-breaker. Grasso said there were some notations in the Bible but nothing to immediately indicate they were linked to the code.
Grasso also said Provenzano would be questioned by Palermo prosecutors either Thursday or Friday in a prison in central Italy where he is being held in isolation and under top security.
He said investigators didn't know who would emerge to take Provenzano's place as head of the Sicilian Mafia.