Police in Sicily arrest most wanted mafia boss

STORY: This is the moment Italy's most wanted mafia boss was arrested by police on Monday (January 16).

Matteo Messina Denaro was visiting a private hospital in the Sicilian capital Palermo.

Military Police Major General, Pasquale Angelosanto.

"Today, January 16, 2023, members of Carabinieri's ROS (Special Operations Group) and members of the GIS (Special Intervention Group) and the territorial commands of the Sicily region as part of investigations coordinated by the public prosecutor's office of Palermo arrested fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro inside a health facility where he had gone to undergo clinical therapies."

He has been sentenced in absentia to a life term for his role in the 1992 murders of anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

He also faces a life sentence for his role in bomb attacks in Florence, Rome and Milan which killed 10 people the following year.

Messina Denaro, who comes from the small town of Castelvetrano near Trapani, is accused by prosecutors of being solely or jointly responsible for numerous other murders in the 1990s.

In 1993 he helped organize the kidnapping of a 12-year-old boy, Giuseppe Di Matteo, in an attempt to dissuade his father from giving evidence against the mafia, prosecutors say.

The boy was held in captivity for two years before he was strangled and his body dissolved in acid.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said the arrest is "a great victory for the state that shows it never gives up in the face of the mafia".