by de Gondi
Thu Jul 27th, 2006 at 06:03:19 AM EST
Last Friday just after 12 noon, Adamo Bove fell to his death on a motorway in Naples. He had just left his wife to do some errands in town while he headed home. On an overpass he stopped his car, put on the emergency lights, and apparently jumped to his death, presumably making sure there were no oncoming vehicles on the highway some thirty meters below him.
The Naples' Public Minister, Giancarlo Novelli, opened an investigation for "instigation to commit suicide by unknown individuals." Within hours investigative police sequestered material in Bove's offices in Rome and Naples, as well as his home. The Rome PM Pietro Saviotti immediately re-entered from vacation to co-ordinate investigations in Rome. In an exceptional move the Milan Procura issued a statement denying that Bove had ever been subject to investigation or interrogated by Milan magistrates. This followed news reports that Bove had been suspected in many recent cases of wire-tapping espionage.
Back from front page
Contrary to initial reports that cast doubts on his activity and personality, Adamo Bove has played a crucial investigative role in the major criminal cases that have emerged these past months.
Adamo Bove is remembered as a brilliant investigative cop who caught two major Camorra bosses in the 90's- Francesco "Sandokan" Schiavone and Mario Fabbrocino. As a leading expert on electronic surveillance, data processing and telecommunications, he was hired by Telecom to manage their Radar software system, an anti-fraud program for the mobile phone network. Bove realized that the system had a flaw that allowed hackers to enter the Telecom system without leaving a trace. He denounced the fact to the Milan magistrates and began a top-secret investigation to unmask eventual conspirators within his own office. According to reports he invited his collaborators to invent ways to break into the Telecom system and steal telecommunication tables and tapes. His internal investigation in collaboration with the Milan PMs lead to the under-reported wiretapping scandal that involves the SISMi and two long-standing friends of Marco Mancini, Giuliano Tavaroli and Emanuele Cipriani. Tavaroli occupied the key national position to which were passed all authorized requests by magistrates to make wiretaps.
Tavaroli resigned recently and is presently under investigation by the Milan Procura for delinquent association finalized at violating privacy.
Paolo Biondani of the Corriere reports Sunday that two reporters, unnamed, who worked for the SISMi had privileged access to illegally taped transcripts, or transcripts that had been ordered destroyed by the magistracy.
Biondani reports (today confirmed in detail by the Repubblica) that according to testimony by Bove's ex-colleagues in Milan, it was Adamo Bove who helped the Milan magistrates identify and reconstruct the mobile phone traffic during the kidnapping of Abu Omar in Milan on February 17, 2003. It was this crucial investigative work that led to arrest warrants for 26 American agents and many of their Italian accomplices.
Moreover Bove was able to identify the mobile phones used by the SISMi agents under investigation and recently arrested. His work was particularly difficult as he not only had to identify the SISMi phones, but to crack through protective screens and scramblers, and do so without raising suspicion not only in the SISMi but among possible infiltrators in his own team.
Bove also contributed his expertise to solving the Laziogate conspiracy last year. In that case, the office of Francesco Storace, the rightwing (Allianza Nazionale) ex-governor of Lazio, spied on his political opponents with the intent to smear and frame them. The conspirators managed to have Alessandra Mussolini disqualified from running by hacking the Rome citizens' archives.
(The Union opponent, Piero Marrazzo, won the elections and is currently governor of Lazio. Storace, of course, is in parliament.)
According to initial reports, Bove was troubled and prone to depression recently. Other reports assert he feared being incriminated for his role in the wiretapping scandals. Or already was. He confided that he felt he was being tailed and spied. Coming from a top investigator his reported sensations are not to be dismissed. Perhaps this is no more than a whirlwind of words that accompanies a major case. Or yet another smear campaign, an action so commonly undertaken in Italy in the course of the past decades. The Italian language has a reflexive verb, suicidarsi, "to kill oneself," which has far more rhetorical impact when used in its rare transitive form, suicidare, as in "Roberto was suicided by the Mafia." "Instigation to suicide" may just be a new variation on an old theme.
The Telecom Wiretapping Scandal may soon dwarf all other closely related cases as it hints at vast political collusion under the preceding government. It appears that not only did private companies and reporters linked to the SISMi throughout Italy were able to steal information on citizens, but illegal operators were able to cancel compromising evidence linked to organized crime. It's this legacy that Bove has left investigators. Let us hope there will be no other victims.