The Trial, by Kafka, is the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority. The nature of his crime, however, is never revealed, either to him or the reader.
The Judiciary in Palermo (with Rome an South Africa following suit) allege that I committed a “crime”, but they have yet to inform me what it is.
The Trial could have been written about me.
My role at Consultfin, where I was the CEO, and the fact that I was born in Sicily, made me the perfect scapegoat. State witnesses from Sicily keep trotting out their absurd allegations, saying that I run Mafia empires in Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, even the Far East. I have a degree of intelligence and ability, to be sure, but nothing of the kind that could run the Mafia’s finances from my home in Franschoek in South Africa. All state witnesses have been discredited, but by the damage is done and the Press, eager to tell a story, reprint it as the truth.
What began as a simple case of circumstantial evidence where I got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time has, for reasons I don’t understand, evolved into a brazen and unscrupulous campaign against me, which is ongoing to this day. My fundamental rights – to equality, privacy and dignity – have been violated. My life and that of my family have been spent defending myself against phantom facts and allegations of crimes committed in a country in which I have not set foot since 1982.
I was the perfect scapegoat.
Where is my crime?
Which takes me back to the question that I have asked now for nearly 30 years: Where is my crime? And why are they persecuting a man who is not only not dangerous, but who has already served out his conviction for an alleged crime committed not in Italy, but in Switzerland? For nineteen years now Italy has not only ignored a court judgment at an international level (the Swiss conviction), but also their own, having conducted two separate and parallel proceedings: one in Rome, which was concluded in 1992, and one in Palermo, concluded in 2003. How is it that they continue their proceedings against me, using the same discredited facts, in my absence? Who is actually benefiting from this? What advantage is there in continuing to spend Italian tax payer’s money to conduct proceedings against me?
This can only represent a politically-charged vendetta that has been waged against me by lawyers, crusading politicians, journalists and opportunists who have climbed onto the bandwagon. It is based on a scourge of hearsay, aspersions, half truths, legal twists, inventions and total fabrications. The rule of law has been subverted for the principle of “success” in the war against crime. Justice has become about newspaper headlines. The political careers of the leading lights in this war have taken on a life of their own, overriding any legal obstacles in securing a conviction against me. I was scooped up in their nets and dished up to the media as proof of their success in the fight against organised crime.
Twenty-nine years later, I am still fighting for justice.