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Andreotti Nears Prosecution for Mafia Ties

A COMMITTEE of the Italian Senate voted April 27 to recommend lifting former Premier Guilio Andreotti's parliamentary immunity so prosecutors can investigate his suspected dealings with the Mafia.

The full Senate will vote on the recommendation May 6. The committee cast 11 votes in favor and one against lifting the immunity. Eleven abstained. The lone no-vote came from a senator from the Liberal Party. Among the abstaining senators were several members of Mr. Andreotti's Christian Democrat Party and a couple of Socialists.

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Palermo prosecutors notified Andreotti in late March that he was a subject of their investigation. Andreotti, as a senator-for-life, enjoyed parliamentary immunity.

In recent weeks, three Mafia defectors have told prosecutors that Andreotti met with top mob bosses. Andreotti has vehemently denied the charges.

The Senate committee has heard testimony from a Mafia informer, Baldassare Di Maggio, who had been the personal chauffeur to Mafia boss Salvatore Riina. Mr. Di Maggio said Andreotti had a secret meeting with Mr. Riina in Palermo in the late 1980s. Another accuser, Tommaso Bruscetta, who now lives under a secret identity in the United States, has also testified against Andreotti.

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