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Italian crooner probed over pro-mafia songs

ROME (AFP) - An Italian crooner has been placed under investigation for singing the praises of the Camorra mafia, prosecutors said on Tuesday following a raid against rival clans in a city near Naples.

Nello Liberti has a song entitled “Clan Chief” about the mafia execution of a “traitor,” which includes the lyrics: “The clan chief has no freedom. He hides the truth for honour. He‘s a serious man, it’s not true that he‘s evil.”

“He respects us. We have to respect him,” Liberti sings.

Prosecutors said the song justifies the killing of anyone who betrays the Camorra and are accusing the singer f “incitement to commit a crime”.

Liberti, who can be seen wearing a tracksuit with heavy gold jewellery in one of his videos, is a crooner in the “neo-melodic” style which has been popular in southern Italy since the 1980s.

Italian police arrested a total of 41 arrest warrants in the operation on Tuesday in which they arrested alleged members of the rival Ascione-Papale and Iacomino-Pirra clans in the city of Ercolano near Naples.

Italian media reported that several of those arrested were women, who helped oversee extortion, drug trafficking and arms sales.
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