Bernardo Provenzano, the so-called godfather of godfathers, has been moved from his top security jail after warders gave him a cake for his 74th birthday.
The Mafia supremo, who was arrested last year in an isolated farmhouse after more than 40 years on the run, was secretly moved after officials decided he and the guards had become "too friendly".
He had been in solitary confinement under the strict Rule 41 prisoner regime for Mafia bosses, which means only one hour a day of exercise and limited visits and phone calls.
An investigation was launched by the Italian prison service after a tip-off that he had been given the cake in his cell at Terni prison, north of Rome, earlier this year.
The Department of Prisons in Rome raised the matter with prison director Francesco Dell'Aria, and decided to move Provenzano as a precaution.
He was driven under police and helicopter escort 300 miles north to the maximum-security wing at Novara prison, near Turin. The measures were taken despite the insistence of prison staff that the cake was not part of any elaborate escape attempt.
Apart from the cake - which prison sources said he did not eat - his only other request has been for a satellite television link so he can see Sicilian regional news.
The prison denied his request and asked if he would prefer a subscription to a Sicilian newspaper instead. Provenzano - who is thought to have made millions from extortion, gun running and contract-rigging - replied: "I haven't got any money."
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Jail Switch for the Tractor
From the Telegraph: