Convicted Cosa Nostra boss undergoes surgery
Gino Felicetti attaches on a billboard pictures of top mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano in Corleone, Sicily, Italy, on Monday, April 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Published Monday, December 17, 2012 7:34PM EST
ROME -- Convicted Cosa Nostra boss Bernardo Provenzano underwent brain surgery on Monday after injuring his head in a fall at a top-security Italian prison where he is serving several life sentences, Italian news reports said.
The ANSA news agency, reporting from Palermo, Sicily, said surgeons successfully removed a cerebral hematoma, or blood-filled swelling, caused by the fall a few days earlier. The reports didn't identify the hospital where the operation was performed, but Provenzano has been jailed in a top-security prison in Parma, in northern Italy, on the mainland. ANSA said Provenzano was in an induced coma after the operation.
Provenzano, the reputed "boss of bosses," was captured in 2006 near Corleone, a Mafia stronghold, after decades on the run. He had reputedly held the helm of the Sicilian Mafia since 1993. While a fugitive, Provenzano was convicted in absentia and sentenced to life for more than a dozen murders of mobsters and anti-Mafia investigators. Those victims included Giovanni Falcone, an anti-Mafia investigator killed in a highway bombing in Sicily in 1992 that was blamed on the top echelons of Cosa Nostra.
For years, prosecutors have said Provenzano has refused to turn state's evidence, unlike scores of other mobsters who have been arrested in recent years in organized crime crackdowns. The Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported Monday that Provenzano told prosecutors in May that he wouldn't become a turncoat and speak "badly" about others.