The wiretapped conversations between Riina and Alberto Lorusso, speaking in October, are the latest threats targeting anti-mafia prosecutor Nino Di Matteo and others.
Speaking to Lorusso from a Milan prison, where he is serving a life term, Riina says: “We must take action [against the magistrates], make them dance the samba.”
During the conversations, the mafia boss spoke about a trial currently underway over state-mafia negotiations and involving Di Matteo.
“This trial, and the magistrate of this trial, are driving me crazy,” Riina was quoted in Corriere della Sera as saying.
In December, Di Matteo was given extra security after Riina was heard in prison calling for the prosecutor to be murdered in a public place or during a journey. The magistrate has agreed to restrict his movements in the Sicilian capital Palermo, although in December turned down the offer of an armoured car, Corriere said.
The latest threats spark fears of a return to the violence of the 1980s and 1990s, during which a number of key figures in the anti-mafia core were killed in Sicily.
Riina reportedly called for a greater level of violence against present-day prosecutors. ““It will be like the last but much, much bigger,” he was quoted as saying, referring to a 1983 car bomb in which Rocco Chinnici, then the head of the anti-mafia pool, was killed.
Lorusso responded by telling the mafia kingpin that Chinnici’s murder “made me happy for a couple of years”.
Aside from plotting murders, Riina also took the opportunity to reflect on the first few months of Pope Francis’ reign at the Vatican. “This Pope is too good...he’s said good things,” Riina was quoted as saying, gaining agreement from his mafia friend.