Falcone name doesn't merit protection - Germany court

Frankfurt mafia-themed pizzeria named 'Falcone and Borsellino'

(ANSA) - ROME, DEC 4 - The name of slain anti-Mafia judge Giovanni Falcone does not merit protection, a German court ruled in rejecting a suit against a Frankfurt pizzeria that called itself 'Falcone and Borsellino' and put up the famous photo of Falcone with his slain colleague Paolo Borsellino alongside that of Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone in the Godfather.
    Maria Falcone, sister of the magistrate slain by a Cosa Nostra bomb in May 1992, two months before Borsellino met the same fate, said the photo was a violation of the memory of her late brother.
    But the Frankfurt court rejected her appeal saying "the judge is only known to a limited circle of people with knowledge of his case and not to the ordinary people that frequent the pizzeria".
    It said "the judge operated mainly in Italy, and in Germany is only known to a small set of specialists".
    On the walls of the eatery, as well as the photos of the heroic magistrates and Don Corleone, there are a string of holes resembling bullet holes.
    In her suit, Maria Falcone asked the court to stop the owner of the pizzeria, Constantin Ulbrich, from using her family name for his establishment.
    In its sentence, the court also said that the fight against the Mafia is no longer in people's minds and Falcone died almost 30 years ago.
    It rejected documents produced by Maria Falcone and the Falcone Foundation attesting to Giovanni Falcone's enduring international fame and in particular the Palermo magistrate's acclaim in Germany still today.
    Maia Falcone said "we are very pained by this sentence".
    "Precisely at a time when the value of the work and the human and professional heritage of Giovanni Falcone is recognised at a world level, a magistrate of a country (Germany) that is suffering on its flesh the heavy shadow of the presence of the mafia, comes out with a sentence like this," she said.
    Less than two months ago, a UN conference on transnational crime passed a unanimous resolution recognising Falcone's contribution to the fight against international organised crime, she stressed.
    And her brother has earned many posthumous awards for his work from Germany, "a country that has shown great sensitivity to the issues of mafia and legality," she said.
    "We will appeal against a sentence that we deem unjust also in light of the value it assumes in a city with a very strong presence of Italians who well know the meaning of the fight against the mafia and the sacrifice of those who lost their lives for justice".
    The centrist Italy of Values (IV) party said Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio should protest to Berlin in the cas. (ANSA).


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