Sunday, 12 September 2010

In the Spotless Name of Giorgio Ambrosoli


(genuine nerd, crack)

[Edoardo Montenegro, Turin] - The Italian lawyer Giorgio Ambrosoli was shot dead in Milan on July 11th 1979 by a hired killer landed from the United States.

Giulio Andreotti, Senator for Life and Italian Prime Minister in 1979, declared in a TV programme this week that Giorgio Ambrosoli "went and searched for his death" (1).

An expert in compulsory liquidations, Giorgio Ambrosoli had been chosen in 1974 by the Bank of Italy to collect in the assets and settle all claims concerning Michele Sindona's Banca Privata Italiana.

Michele Sindona, a banker deeply involved with the Sicilian Mafia and a key member of the masonic lodge Propaganda 2, had built an empire by money laundering and investing customer deposits to make business through hundreds of shell corporations throughout the world.

Taking control of Franklin National Bank, the 20th largest bank in the U.S., in 1972 Michele Sindona had become one of the most influential world bankers: at that time, Giulio Andreotti labeled him "the saviour of the Italian Lira".

In 1974 Banca Privata Italiana and Franklin National Bank went bankrupt. Michele Sindona was accused of fraud by the American and the Italian justice. Not only did Giorgio Ambrosoli worked bravely to defend the interests of legal creditors and Italian citizens, but also his deposition at the Franklin National Bank default trial was decisive to prove that Michele Sindona was guilty.

In Italy, Giorgio Ambrosoli was regularly threatened and had to work lonely: while the Italian Government made pressures to save Michele Sindona's empire (2), the Governor of the Bank of Italy Paolo Baffi and the Vice Director Mario Sarcinelli who supported Giorgio Ambrosoli had fallen under accusation for non-existent reasons (3).

In March 1986 Michele Sindona was convicted to life-emprisonment for the murder of Giorgio Ambrosoli. A few days later a mysterious cyanide coffee put an end to his life.

__________

(1) "Certo era una persona che, in termini romaneschi direi… se l'andava cercando" (Giulio Andreotti, interview with Giovanni Minoli, "Qualunque cosa succeda, la storia di Giorgio Ambrosoli", La Storia Siamo Noi, RAI DUE, September 9th 2010).

During the same TV programme the former President of the Italian Republic and Director General of the Bank of Italy in 1979 Carlo Azeglio Ciampi thus remembered Giorgio Ambrosoli: "He has been rightly named the 'Bourgeois Hero', an Italian citizen who puts himself at the service of the State, humbly and overtly accomplishing his duty" (E' stato giustamente chiamato l'Eroe Borghese, Un cittadino italiano che si mette al servizio dello Stato e assolve con umiltà, con semplicità, il proprio compito).

In a letter that he never gave to his wife, Giorgio Ambrosoli proved to be fully conscious of his destiny: "Anna my dear, it is February 25th 1975 and I am ready to deposit the report on the passivity of Banca Privata Italiana. Obviously this act will not satisfy many and it cost me a very hard work. There is no doubt that I will pay a huge price for this. I knew it before accepting this task and as a consequence I do not complain at all, because for me it has been a unique opportunity to do something for our Nation. Remember the days of the Italian Monarchic Union: we aimed, never succeeding, to make politics for Italy and not for the political parties. Well at forty, all of a sudden, I made politics in the name of the State and not for a political party. Whatever will happen, however, you know what you have to do and I am sure that you will be able to do it extremely well. You will have to raise our children and bring them up respecting those values in which we believed. It will be a hard life for you, but you are so skilled that you will always get away with it and, as always, will do your duty whatever the cost".

(Anna carissima, è il 25 febbraio 1975 e sono pronto per il deposito dello stato passivo della Banca Privata Italiana. Atto che ovviamente non soddisferà molti e che è costato una bella fatica. E' indubbio che in ogni caso pagherò a molto caro prezzo il carico. Lo sapevo prima di accettarlo e quindi non mi lamento affatto perché per me è stata un'occasione unica per fare qualcosa per il Paese. Ricordi i giorni dell'Unione Monarchica Italiana, le speranze mai realizzate di far politica per il Paese e non per i partiti? Ebbene, a quarant'anni di colpo ho fatto politica e in nome dello Stato e non per un partito. Qualunque cosa succeda, comunque, tu sai che cosa devi fare e sono certo saprai fare benissimo. Dovrai tu allevare i ragazzi e crescerli nel rispetto di quei valori nei quali abbiamo creduto. Sarà per te una vita dura, ma sei talmente brava che te la caverai sempre e farai come sempre il tuo dovere, costi quel che costi).

Umberto, the youngest son of Giorgio Ambrosoli, narrated the story of his father in the book "Qualunque cosa succeda", Sironi, 2009.

(2) Giorgio La Malfa, "Ambrosoli. Nuovo sgarbo di Andreotti", lastampa.it, September 10th 2010.

(3) Mario Sarcinelli, "Ambrosoli un eroe tragico", ilsole24ore.com, September 10th 2010.

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