Licio Gelli and the papers that bind him to the Bologna massacre. The video: “That document is not mine”

For a moment the smile vanishes from Licio Gelli’s face. He looks at a piece of paper that an English journalist shows him. It almost looks like a ghost has materialized. “No, no, I … we have not seen this and not even my lawyers have wanted to see it,” he replies as he pushes away those notes, written years before in his own hand. It is the “Bologna document”, account 525779 XS. A meticulous accounting of a lot of millions of dollars, which today is at the center of the new trial on the instigators of the massacre of August 2, 1980.


This is the central scene of the unpublished interview with the head of the P2 lodge, shot in 2010 by the British journalist Philip Willan, which the Rainews24 Spotlight investigation program presents for the first time within the service “Before the massacre” (broadcast Sunday 1st August, at 9.30am and 9.30pm). No one had ever asked Licio Gelli about that document that the Swiss police confiscated from him at the time of his arrest in Geneva in 1982. It is a document, for the little venerable teacher, which brings him back to the worst accusation against him: having been the inspirer, the financier of the bomb that caused 85 deaths.

Massacre of Bologna, when Gelli said: That document is not mine “


There is a second key passage in the video first shown by Spotlight. A name, Marco Ceruti: «He was a friend of mine, more than anything else he was the secretary of the vice president of the Council of the Judiciary, Zilletti, who was a member of the P2, as well as Marco Ceruti was a member of the P2». Ceruti, for the Public Prosecutor of Bologna which launched the investigation into the principals of the massacre three years ago, was Gelli’s trusted man in managing the money on the Bologna account. He would have received the 5 million dollars used – according to the indictment – to finance the Nar of Fioravanti and Mambro and to pay the red herrings after the massacre. In some of Gelli’s notes, Ceruti is indicated with the initials “MC”; he received a million dollars in cash just before the massacre. And always Ceruti, together with Gelli, was in Rome when Valerio Fioravanti and Francesca Mambro are passing through, two days before the attack on the Bologna station. At the moment there is no evidence of a meeting, but on that day spent in the capital the two members of the Nar have over time provided conflicting and unlikely versions.


With Gelli dead, Marco Ceruti remains, the only living keeper of those secrets. In 2018 the Attorney General questioned him twice, eventually investigating him for perjury (the position was later filed). His version on the management of that money received from Gelli did not convince the magistrates and, above all, was in clear contrast with other testimonies and findings. Even for Ceruti that sheet with the figures of the Bologna bill was a ghost to be removed.


The trial on the principals started a few months ago and his testimony is considered key. May 12 was expected in the courtroom. He didn’t show up, sending a Brazilian medical certificate. The Attorney General explained that according to the findings of Digos Ceruti he was in the United States, at an unknown address. In other words, the witness was gone. A little over a month ago the Bolognese magistrates received the communication that Gelli’s cashier was in Ohio. Then a second source pointed to Brazil, a country where Ceruti manages a holding active in air cargo transport. The letters rogatory are launched, but at the moment for the Italian justice it is untraceable.
Actually the key witness lives in a luxurious Florida condo, with stunning ocean views of Miami Beach. This is, according to the US public databases consulted, his last known address. Spotlight identified him and interviewed him by telephone for a long time. He has no intention of coming to testify in Bologna: “I’m eighty-three years old (actually eighty, ed), I’m fine, but it’s a long journey”. He doesn’t even want to hear about P2 and when he is reminded that Gelli himself confirms his registration in the private lodge, he jokes: «Why is Gelli still alive? I don’t know … he is dead, he is alive … ». On the money in the Bologna account he continues to claim that they were part of a payment for some antiques.


While Licio Gelli was acting through the Bologna account, the Nar criminal group was growing in Rome in 1980. It’s a terrifying escalation. At the end of February, Valerio Verbano, just eighteen, was killed in his home, after his geitors had been bound and gagged. The only claim deemed reliable is that of the Revolutionary Armed Nuclei, with a reference to a weapon not known to the press. It is not one of the many ambushes against comrades. For at least a year Verbano had meticulously collected information on right-wing terrorists. Spotlight, in the investigation “Before the massacre”, shows for the first time his dossier, which disappeared into thin air for years. And just to the group of Fioravanti and Mambro Verbano he had dedicated a long card, which highlighted the danger of the group.


In those months a young magistrate, Mario Amato, was rebuilding that criminal world, arriving at an “overview”. Twice in front of the CSM he raised the alarm on subversive neo-fascist groups, unheard. On 23 June a commando composed of Gilberto Cavallini and Luigi Ciavardini killed him outside his house, while he was waiting for the bus to go to the prosecutor’s office. To organize the ambush were those same Nar who were preparing the attack of 2 August, as the subsequent investigations have reconstructed.
The key to the bomb at the Bologna station is in those months before it. Two parallel stories, only apparently distant. While from Geneva the power group – closely linked to the military secret services of the time – moved the money for cover operations, in Rome, behind the ferocity of a group that was only apparently “spontaneist”, massacre alliances were moving. Today, after forty years, in the courtroom of the Court of Assizes in Bologna, those two threads cross.


Source: L'Espresso – News, inchieste e approfondimenti Espresso by espresso.repubblica.it.

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