- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 22, 2006

LONDON SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

ROME — Bernardo Provenzano, the Mafia boss arrested this month after 43 years as a fugitive, has declared his intention finally to marry the woman who became the love of his life.

It was a mistake by Saveria Palazzolo, the mother of Provenzano’s two children, that led police to the farmhouse where he was hiding when she sent him a packet of clean laundry.

During questioning at Terni maximum security prison, 70 miles north of Rome, the 73-year-old “Godfather of Godfathers” declared: “In my heart, I am married with Saveria, and my conscience is also at ease with her, but in the civil and legal sense we are not — and I hope to right this as soon as possible.”

The strong affection he and Miss Palazzolo, 48, held for one another was obvious in the dozens of notes police discovered at the farmhouse outside the Mafia stronghold of Corleone, on Sicily.

Provenzano, if granted his wish, would not be the first Mafia chief to marry in jail.

His predecessor, Toto “the Beast” Riina, wed his partner of more than 30 years after being caught in 1993.

Meanwhile, details of Provenzano’s first days in captivity have emerged. His questioning by prosecutors Giuseppe Pignatone and Marzia Sabella lasted fewer than 10 minutes because he refused to discuss any of the crimes for which he has been sought.

However, he is said to have shaken their hands as they left — even though they gave him a legal bill for about $350,000 from previous court cases in which he was convicted of a string of murders.

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