Graziano Mesina is on the run after confirming the 30-year sentence


AGI – article updated at 8.30

Graziano Mesina is on the run after the Cassation has rejected the appeal filed by his lawyersthus making the sentence of 30 years imprisonment definitive. The newspaper L’Unione Sarda reports. “Now for the former red primula the prison doors are reopened with a measure that could arrive in these hours, even if he is currently unavailable”, writes the newspaper.

After the sentence on appeal for criminal association aimed at the international drug trafficking, Mesina had returned free due to the expiry of the terms. Mesina, who lives in Orgosolo, does not have a telephone and is not available.

We have not received any documents from the Cassation, no official document. No execution order. “Thus Graziano Mesina’s lawyer, Maria Luisa Vernier, reached by telephone by AGI. The lawyer explained that he had no recent contacts with Mesina:” He lives in Orgosolo and has no phone, “he said.

Free since June 2019

Mesina was released on June 19, 2019 after six years in prison in Nuoro for the term of imprisonment. The former red primula of Sardinian banditry, who served a 30-year sentence for international drug trafficking, had returned to Orgosolo accompanied by his lawyers. Mesina had been sentenced by the Court of Appeal of Cagliari to 30 years of imprisonment with the revocation of the pardon granted in 2004 by the then President of the Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.

He had been arrested on June 10, 2013. He was in pre-trial detention pending the reasons for the sentence. After six years he returned free for expiry of the terms. Mesina had always proclaimed himself innocent.

The history of Grazianeddu

A former life imprisonment, Graziano Mesina had returned free in 2004, having spent nearly 40 years in prison. His ‘career’ as a bandit started when he was very young and he had met him early in prison, after a first conviction for murder.

Born April 4, 1942 in Orgosolo, penultimate of the eleven children of Pasquale Mesina, pastor, and Caterina Pinna, ‘Grazianeddu’ had been arrested for the first time at age 14 for illegal firearms. Shortly afterwards he had fled making the first of the escapes that would have made him famous.

The second escape dates back to May 1962, when during a transfer from the Sassari penitentiary he launched himself from a running train. The freedom had not lasted long: Mesina had been captured after a long pursuit. It was the third escape from the same year, this time from the hospital in Nuoro where he was hospitalized. To escape capture Mesina had remained hidden two days and two nights in a large tube in the courtyard of the garrison.

The fourth time ‘Grazianeddu’ he had escaped from the prison of San Sebastiano di Sassari. Mesina, together with the former Spanish legionary Miguel Atienza, had let himself fall from the wall of the prison. From then on he remained in hiding until 20 March 1968 when he was captured at a roadblock by a traffic police patrol near Orgosolo. Another escape from Lecce prison in 1976, with a hiding spree that lasted almost a year.

After being imprisoned in the Porto Azzurro penitentiary to serve life in prison, Mesina had to behave irreproachable behavior in order to obtain a review of her trial. In 1985 he had left the prison for a ‘love escape’ but had been tracked down and captured. His escapes and his hiding have become mythical in Sardinia and it is said that he often returned to Orgosolo for meetings with women in love with him.

After a period of relative silence, the former red primula of Sardinian banditry had returned to the limelight in 1992 when he returned to Sardinia to deal with the kidnapping of Farouk Kassam. The story had sparked controversy over Mesina’s role in the child’s release. The following year he had been permanently imprisoned after some weapons were found in a farmhouse in San Marzanotto d’Asti, where ‘Grazianeddu’ lived.

He was sentenced by the Court of Appeal of Cagliari to 30 years in prison with the revocation of the pardon granted in 2004 by the then President of the Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. Then he was arrested on June 10, 2013 for international drug trafficking.

Three years later Mesina had been sentenced to 30 years in prison for a criminal association specializing in drug trafficking. The verdict of the second criminal section of the Cagliari court had been heavier than the request of the public prosecutor, who had asked for a sentence of 26 years in prison. In 2018, the sentence was confirmed on appeal. Mesina, who always proclaimed himself innocent, was released on June 10 last year after six years in prison in Nuoro for the term of imprisonment.

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