They both fought the mafia, but ended up fighting each other and to get involved in controversial situations, accused of the same crimes that they opposed. Pino Manici and Silvana Saguto are the protagonists of the plot of a new docu-series, “Vendetta: guerra nell’antimafia”, written and produced by Ruggero di Maggio and Davide Gambino (Mon Amour Films) and by Nicola Moody, Jane Root and David Herman (Nutopia), six episodes that will debut on September 24 su Netflix.
Pino Maniaci is a journalist and presenter who, for more than twenty years, has been on his own Sicilian TV broadcaster Telejato gives space to news relating to organized crime and the fight against the mafia.
Silvana Saguto, now a former magistrate of the Court of Palermo who, as President of the Prevention Measures section, has been for years one of the most important judges in the fight against the mafia in Sicily.
Two prominent personalities of the anti-mafia, whose stories intertwined in 2013, when Maniaci inaugurated a series of investigations into the corruption of some representatives of the Sicilian judiciary, in particular of the Prevention Measures section of the Court of Palermo.
The reporter began to accuse Silvana Saguto of having improperly seized assets, charging excessive fees for their administration, and having led several companies into bankruptcy, with the complicity of her husband and some collaborators. The former magistrate, in turn, has accused Maniacs of favoring the mafia: in 2016 the prosecutor of Palermo opened an investigation for defamation and extortion on the journalist, accusing him of having used a “pincer method” to denigrate or exalt, with its TV services, the mafia and local politicians in exchange for money. Silvana Saguto also ends up at the center of an investigation, with 39 charges – corruption, abuse of office and embezzlement – against her.
From the beginning, both proclaimed themselves innocent and they blamed each other, declaring themselves victims of a vengeance. The docu-series ends with the first degree verdicts: last October, Silvana Saguto was found guilty of corruption and sentenced in first instance to 8 years and 6 months. In April 2021, Pino Maniaci was acquitted in the first instance from the sentence of extortion and sentenced for defamation to 1 year and 5 months.
«Revenge: war in the anti-mafia» is the result of a long work started in 2005, made up of meetings with the protagonists, their families and their legal teams, made up of access to the courtrooms and consultation of vast archives and materials.
It is the story of a war in the war, told by two authors who grew up in Palermo after the Capaci massacre, “Besieged” by the army, magistrates and journalists. “We have always observed the trajectory of the anti-mafia,” they explain in the press conference to present the docu-series. And the two protagonists of the events «allowed us to tell the reality in all respects, of get out of the dimension of saints and heroes, to grasp a more nuanced truth».
Among other things, Ruggero di Maggio is the son of a magistrate: “My mother was a Councilor of the Court of Cassation,” he says. “She’s been involved in mafia trials for a long time, and me I grew up in the courts. Access to the classrooms is one of our strengths. Ours is an observer position: having more time than journalists to be with the characters, we have always actively participated in anti-mafia movements, and we want to give the public the opportunity to understand where the truth can lie».
«We have chosen to stay at a man’s height and not” category “, as a journalist or magistrate», adds Gambino, «also recounting the personal and professional stories of the protagonists. “Vendetta: guerra nell’antimafia” is not a documentary on the mafia and the anti-mafia, but on these two unique personal events».
On the other hand, Falcone also said that the fight against the mafia also becomes an alibi to hide certain shortcomings under the carpet by the institutions themselves. “With his words, Falcone summarized the meaning that this series has”, the authors conclude: “The anti-mafia is a movement that must be cultivated, but not sacralized».
I am Derek Black, an author of World Stock Market. I have a degree in creative writing and journalism from the University of Central Florida. I have a passion for writing and informing the public. I strive to be accurate and fair in my reporting, and to provide a voice for those who may not otherwise be heard.