Mafia clans planned to assassinate an Italian prosecutor with 550g of TNT that police found hidden underneath a tree outside a crime lord's villa, a supergrass has told investigators. The explosive was seized by police, along with a Tokarev gun, on 7 May, as they searched an estate in the small town of Gioia del Colle, near Bari, which belonged to alleged arm trafficker, Amilcare Monti Condesnitt.

The 47-year-old Condesnitt and four alleged accomplices were arrested for illegal detention of weapons and explosives, but the discovery left police wondering to what use the TNT was destined for. Later an informer with ties with the Sacra Corona Unita crime syndicate told anti-mafia detectives that the mob planned to kill Naples prosecutor Giovanni Colangelo in a bomb attack.

The plot involved the collaboration of two separate mafia clans, the Sacra Corona Unita (active in Bari's Apulia region) and the Camorra (which operates in the Naples area). Colangelo has investigated the latter but is a native of Gioia del Colle and often returns to his hometown.

Detectives said mob affiliates had monitored the his movements and decided that the quiet commune, with origins dating back to the 7th century BC, was the ideal place to set off a deadly explosion.

 Giovanni Colangelo
Naples prosecutor Giovanni Colangelo, said to be the target of an assassination plot Reuters