The comments by Lucia Riina, made during an interview with Swiss TV, prompted outcry from Maria Falcone, the sister of the murdered judge, and the president of the Association for the Victims of the Georgofili Massacre, a bombing order by her father in 1993 in which five people died.
Riina said she was “sorry” for her father’s victims but happy because “Riina” is her father’s name and corresponds to her identity.
“Any child who loves their parents does not change their name,” she said during the interview in Geneva.
“We are all children of someone and we should not stay in the past, but move forward.”
Riina said the arrest of her father in 1993 was the worst moment of her life. She added that the family used to pray every night, while her mother taught the four children to read and write as they were unable to attend school.
“My parents and I are Catholic and I love my father and my mother,” she added.
Although her father is already imprisoned with three life sentences, he is also currently on trial in Sicily for alleged negotiations between government officials and mafia bosses following a series of bomb attacks and assassinations in the 1990s. Politicians are thought to have made secret deals with the mafia in an effort to stop the bombings.
Maria Falcone said she felt “confused” over Riina’s statements.
“While respecting her role as a daughter, and I’m aware that her father’s sins have not been passed on to his children, I do not accept that, as a practising Catholic, as she points out several times during the interview, she does not distance herself from her murderer father.”
Giovanni Maggiani Chelli, the president of the Association for the Victims of the Georgofili Massacre, said Totò Riina’s victims were “tortured and slaughtered like dogs.”
Watch a video of the interview: