Pietro Grasso, an Italian magistrate and politician, has been the president of the Italian Senate since March 16, 2013. He was born in Licata near Agrigento to Evelina and Gabriele, and moved to Palermo, his parents’ hometown, 18 months after his birth. In 1970 he married with Maria and had a son, Maurilio, who became a Police official. After completing the Meli high school focusing on humanities, Pietro Grasso enrolled at the Department of Law of the University of Palermo, where he graduated in June 1966 with a dissertation on Administrative Law. In November 1969 he started his career in the judiciary, being a magistrate for two years at the Pretura Mandamentale of Barrafranca near Enna. After the murder of public prosecutor Pietro Scaglione in May 1971, Grasso applied to be moved to the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Palermo, where he served as a Deputy Public Prosecutor for 12 years, mainly focusing on investigations regarding public administration and organized crime. On January 6, 1980, he started to conduct the inquiry on the killing of the Governor of Sicily, Mr. Piersanti Mattarella. In September 1985, the president of the Tribunal of Palermo appointed Grasso as Associate Judge in the first “Maxi-Trial” against Cosa Nostra (February 12, 1986 – December 19, 1987), in which 475 indicted were charged with a multitude of crimes. Once he accepted this new task, he started collaborating with Prosecuting Magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, from whom he received fundamental support for studying and better understanding the trial records. On February 12, 1986, the trial opened in a bunker-courthouse filled with 300 defendants inside cages, 200 lawyers and 600 journalists from all over the world. Shortly after the impressive verdict was finally written – which inflicted 346 convictions, 19 life sentences and thousands of years in prison, as well as a hundred acquittals approximately – in February 1989 Grasso was appointed a consultant for the Anti-mafia Parliamentary Committee led by Gerardo Chiaromonte. In 1991 he was asked to join the Ministry of Justice by Giovanni Falcone, whose post he took after Falcone was murdered in the Capaci attack, thus becoming a member of the Central Committee on Police Informers. Some time afterwards he joined the National Anti-Mafia Investigative Agency where, under the direction of Pier Luigi Vigna, in 1993 he conducted probes on the massacres of Florence, Rome and Milan, to be later appointed Deputy Public Prosecutor. In August 1999 he became the Public Prosecutor of Palermo, until October 11, 2005, when he was appointed as National Anti-Mafia Prosecutor. After a long inquiry, on April 11, 2006, fugitive Bernardo Provenzano, who had been at large since May 9, 1963, was finally arrested. On January 8, 2013, after resigning from the judiciary, the national leadership of Italy’s Democratic Party nominated him in the elections for the Senate of the Republic of Italy. After being elected, on March 16, 2013 he was appointed as President of the Senate. On January 14, 2015, when Mr. Giorgio Napolitano, the then-President of the Italian Republic, resigned, Grasso became Interim President of the Republic of Italy until February 3, when the new President, Mr. Sergio Mattarella, sworn in.
Reasons for assigning the award
During his long and brilliant career in the judiciary, Pietro Grasso always stood out for his constant and steadfast opposition to mafia and any other type of organized crime. Continuously committed to supporting legality and the ethical principles that can allow the renascence of society, particularly in the south of Italy, Pietro Grasso has been a radiant reference for all the citizens who believe in the absolute value of justice. The sense of duty, attachment to the Institutions, courage, spirit of service and determination that have always marked his actions even in the most difficult social contexts, have made him a model for all the young people who dream of a fair society exempt from mafia’s influence.
Il Dott. Bambina Francesco, Presidente dell'Associazione "Amici della Musica" consegna il Premio Internazionale per la Cultura "Città di Alcamo" al Sen Pietro Grasso, Presidente del Senato della Repubblica Italiana nel suo studio di Palazzo Madama a Roma.
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