10/07/2024 04:45:00

Mafia, Messina Denaro:  three oncologists testify in defense of Dr. Alfonso Tumbarello

 Three oncologists from the "La Maddalena" clinic in Palermo were heard in court in Marsala as defense witnesses in the trial of Dr. Alfonso Tumbarello, 71, a former general practitioner from Campobello di Mazara (Tp). Tumbarello is charged with external complicity in a mafia association and falsifying public documents for having issued numerous medical certificates in the name of "Andrea Bonafede," born in '63, to allow the Castelvetrano mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, who has since died, to receive treatment. The three doctors called to testify by defense attorneys Giacchino Sbacchi and Giuseppe Pantaleo were Antonella Marchese, Chiara Ancona, and Antonio Testa.

All testified that they knew him as Andrea Bonafede. Dr. Marchese stated that Matteo Messina Denaro "was very concerned about the future… he wanted to know clearly how much time he had left to live." She added, "I knew him during the chemotherapy treatments he was undergoing. I met him several times during that period. At the end of chemotherapy, a report with various prescriptions was issued. The patient was contacted by the clinic the day before the therapy appointment. The relationship was the normal patient-doctor type, meeting every 14 days. He never requested an INPS certificate. He appeared to be a well-off person, well-dressed in designer clothes. He always came alone. Occasionally, he talked about a daughter." Chiara Ancona stated, "I saw the patient three or four times during chemotherapy treatment. I made prescriptions for home treatment and reports on therapies to follow at home. I had no relationship other than the doctor-patient one." Dr. Antonio Testa, finally, said he treated him for "three or four months" and discovered he was the mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro "only on the day of the arrest." He added, "Normal doctor-patient relationships had been established. Bonafede presented himself as very polite."

Two other doctors did not appear in court and will be summoned again for the hearing on September 16. Meanwhile, next Monday, four more defense witnesses are expected to be heard. Civil parties in the trial against Tumbarello include the Medical Association of the Province of Trapani, the Anti-Racket and Anti-Usury Association of Trapani, both represented by lawyer Giuseppe Novara, the "Antonino Caponnetto" association, and the municipalities of Campobello di Mazara and Castelvetrano. This is the first time the Medical Association of Trapani has taken a stand against one of its own members.

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