Subsequent to the above conviction, the Court of Appeal in Palermo, presided over by Judge Salvatore Scaduti, at the second hearing, sentenced Palazzolo to nine years1 by reformulating the first sentence “in peius” from external complicity to full association. And this despite the Prosecution not having presented any appeal with regard to the first instance judgment. Judgment no. 188/2007 R.G.
In the text of the motivation given by the Appeal Court in Palermo we read, from a statement given by Antonino Giuffre2 that, “Palazzolo belonged to the Mafia association called the Cosa Nostra round about the eighties, and remained therein permanently after this date.”
Giuffre of course was discredited when he admitted that he had never met Palazzolo and that his allegations were made on hearsay. Neither had he mentioned Palazzolo in his first informative memo (issued within 108 days from when he becomes a State witness) which, by Law, he cannot change or add to. The Prosecution claimed – disingenuously – that Giuffre had referred to Palazzolo in the hearings of another case (for prevention measures against D’Anna), but in a reading in court of the transcript it was apparent that he was referring not to Vito Roberto but to another Palazzolo, who was the brother-in-law of the Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano. When the Defence asked the Court of Appeal to question the people cited in Giuffrè’s statement, in order to show the inconsistencies, the Presiding Judge Scaduti disallowed it, therefore violating the right to counter the accusation made by the state witness. Guiffre’s lack of evidence is illustrated by a letter written by the Attorney General in Palermo 23rd March 2005 regarding Giuffre3.
It is worth pointing out here too that Palazzolo had always stated that he wanted to be heard and had made himself available to the Attorney General in Palermo. But the latter always refused to question him, giving as their reason that he was considered to be a fugitive from justice.