The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, recalls the judge Francesco Ferlaino killed by the ‘Ndrangheta 45 years ago. The magistrate was shot dead on Corso Nicotera in Lamezia Terme while returning to his home. Ferlaino was one of the first magistrates in our country to be murdered by organized crime. Even today, after almost half a century, the names of the authors of the heinous crime that unfortunately went unpunished are unknown. The Palace of Justice and the courtroom of the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Catanzaro are dedicated to Francesco Ferlaino as well as a street in the center of Lamezia.
Mattarella’s message for the 45th anniversary of the murder of Judge Ferlaino
“On July 3, 1975, while returning home from work, Judge Francesco Ferlaino was shot dead by unidentified killers, exponents of organized crime.” Those are the words of the head of state who stresses: “Authoritative judge and appreciated scholar, Francesco Ferlaino has always been engaged in the judicial offices in Calabria. He has interpreted in an exemplary way the judicial function, at the service of justice and the country. It is necessary not to disperse the memory of what happened and the professional and human teaching linked to this magistrate”.
Recalling his assassination – underlines Mattarella – recalls the ethical sense of those who have been able to oppose the enemies of civil coexistence in the country, to build the future of our community according to principles of legality and human solidarity. Forty-five years later, I wish to renew the feelings of participation and closeness of the country to his family and to those who have estimated it. To all those who – concludes Mattarella – in these long years, have remembered his passion and commendable commitment in carrying out his professional activity”.
Who was the judge Francesco Ferlaino
Francesco Ferlaino was born in Conflenti, a small mountain center in the heart of Calabria on July 23, 1914. He studied at the Galluppi high school in Catanzaro, he attended the faculty of law in Naples. In 1943 he began his brilliant career in the judiciary. First magistrate and investigating judge in old Nicastro (today Lamezia), he later became president of the Court of Assizes of Cosenza and then of that of Assizes of Appeal of Catanzaro. In the Calabrian capital city he directs a historic trial against the Palermo mafia, transferred on ‘legitimate suspicion’ to Catanzaro.
Furthermore, Ferlaino also inflicts severe blows on the anonymous Calabrian kidnappings which in those years sowed terror. Unfortunately, the kidnappings of exponents of the entrepreneurial bourgeoisie of northern Italy have remained in the annals of the news. Prominent exponents of the productive world that organized crime kidnapped and held prisoners in the Aspromonte woods. Judge Ferlaino remains an eminent example of a statesman, a great jurist as well as a Latinist and a man of great culture. An excellent figure, appreciated by all for his integrity principles and his ethical values that remain a model for generations of all time.
The memory of the national teachers coordination
For the 45th anniversary of his death, also the national teachers coordination of the discipline of rights, wants to remember the judge Francesco Ferlaino. “The commitment of the magistrate was essential in contrasting the phenomenon of criminal organizations in different economic sectors of society”, write the coordinators. “Ferlaino – continues the partnership – was animated by a high sense of the state both in public and private occasions. Tenaciously he faced a criminal reality denied, sprawling, dark and for this reason more insidious.
The investigation into his death shows that no one has paid – the coordination underlines – He was a man alone in a difficult context. In a context where the life of an honest judge was worth very little, where social and economic relations were marred by collusion and evasion. The state has reacted thanks to the work of brave men who died while doing their duty. Fortunately, many positive events also marked the painful but inexorable march of legality”.
(featured image judge Francesco Ferlaino – by associazionemagistrati.it)