||Agrigento| Salvatore Cuffaro
Born: February 21, 1958 - Agrigento
Salvatore "Toto" Cuffaro was the governor of Sicily from 2001 until his arrest in 2008.
Studies and work as senator
A graduate in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Palermo, with a specialization in radiology, Cuffaro joined the Christian Democrat party during his student days. After having served as City Councillor in Raffadali and Palermo, he was first elected Member of the Regional Sicilian Assembly in 1996. In the next legislature he served as Regional Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
In 2001, after having joined the Democrats' Centre Union, Cuffaro was endorsed by the House of Freedoms as presidential candidate for Sicily. He won the election, with 59.1% of the vote. On June 26, 2003, it was revealed that he was being investigated for Mafia-related crimes. Despite all this, Cuffaro stood for the 2004 European Parliament election. Later that year, he was appointed national vice-secretary of UDC, the party headed by Pier Ferdinando Casini.
In the Italian general election, 2006, he was elected senator for his party, UDC. In the 2006 regional election, he was successively re-elected President of Sicily with 53.1% of the vote, defeating Rita Borsellino, the Union candidate and sister of the late judge Paolo Borsellino, who fell victim to the Mafia in 1992. He later became the object of media attention thanks to the film La Mafia è Bianca by Stefano Maria Bianchi and Alberto Nerazzini, which exposes rife corruption in the Sicilian Health service and shows a clip of police film footage of Cuffaro meeting with a known mafioso. Cuffaro took the publishers to court for defamation but lost the first round of the case.
Arrest and conviction
In January 2008 Cuffaro was arrested for his ties to the Mafia. He was charged with revealing critical information to Mafia bosses such as raids, future investigations and surveillances. He eventually resigned from his duty as Senator and on January 22, 2011, he was sentenced to 7 years. After the trial he responded to the press that his penalty is a lesson "I leave as an example to my children".
(Source: www.bbc.co.uk, iocni.com)
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