testimone di gangster

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A clash ensues between a pillar of justice and a pillar of lies. Now, judgment shall be passed…

testimone di gangster (ギャング側の証人 Gyangu-gawa no Shōnin, lit. The Witness for the Gangsters) is a short story written by Keiji Ando for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure's 35th Anniversary.

It was announced in the December 2022 issue of Ultra Jump on November 17, 2022 and was published in Winter 2022 issue of JOJO magazine on December 19, 2022.[1]

When a former Passione member named Pollo Albatero betrays the gang, 32 members of Passione are arrested for a money laundering scheme. Squalo and Tizzano are assigned the task to free Passione's members in trial, but they are up against Italy's renowned prosecutor, Gilberto Falco. Meanwhile, Squalo has also been ordered by their team leader to kill Tizzano after the trial is over, regardless of the outcome. Chaos ensues in the courtroom when Pollo can only lie in his testimony due to Tizzano's ability.

Summary

Chapter 1

The second hearing of a massive trial against 32 members of Passione is being held in the Palermo Courthouse at Sicily, Italy. At the courtroom entrance, security guards pull out Squalo's thermos from his bag and ask him what's in it. After showing them that it's just coffee, Squalo is free to enter. He takes a seat in the spectator seating area in the front row of the courtroom, noticing how crowded it is inside. The "Great Gang Trial" from seven years prior was a similar event where over 220 gang members were declared guilty, but this current trial garnered more attention despite having a much smaller number of defendants in comparison.

The main prosecutor of the trial, Gilberto Falco, then enters the room. He is an extremely famous man who fought against government corruption and overthrew gangs. He first targeted members of a smaller gang and promised them his protection if they would divulge information. The public nicknamed him "The Seducer"; Falco always treated everyone with respect, managing to coax information from people that even the police weren't able to get after interrogations. Cosa nostra and every other gang became aware of Falco's existence but were unable to assassinate him due to his intense security.

The case's defense lawyer, prison officers, and judge arrive afterwards. Squalo stares at Tizzano, who appeared to be the apprentice of the defense attorney and also a member of Passione. Squalo recalls that his leader ordered him to kill Tizzano with his ability.

Chapter 2

After Cosa nostra's decline, Passione recently started becoming more prominent in Italy. However, the magnitude of the gang was a mystery. Since Falco declared that they managed to capture 32 members, this trial was a huge event for the nation as it would expose the gang's truths. A bank employee working in Palermo named Pollo was the man who leaked information about Passione to Falco. In the past, Pollo was arrested for being the accountant in a small gang, but was later released due to insufficient evidence. However, Pollo ended up turning himself in and exposed information about Passione after they started a new drug ring which would involve women, children, and innocent people getting caught up in it. Pollo worked as a money launderer for Passione; he took advantage of a loophole left by Italian tax offices and sent money from Passione members to overseas bank accounts and then back into their own accounts. The police were then able to arrest 32 gang members who were involved with the money laundering after investigating and discovering most of the routes that the money took. Although the members declined their involvement, the La Torre act that passed in 1982 made it easier to pursue criminal charges against gangs, so Falco was able to indict the defendants as members of Passione.

Falco was correct about them being gang members, so Passione needed to find a way to stop the trial. The team within Passione that Squalo and Tizzano were part of was assigned to take care of the case. Their leader initially wanted to have both Pollo and Falco killed but Tizzano objected to the idea since it would be essentially admitting that those 32 defendants are actual gang members. Instead, Tizzano suggested that they'll beat Falco at the trial by having Pollo rescind his testimony. The leader agreed to Tizzano's idea, which surprised Squalo as the suggestion sounded improbable and he knew the leader disliked Tizzano. However, since the leader valued violence, he didn't appreciate Tizzano's idea of defeating their opponents in court. He later summoned Squalo and gave an order to kill Tizzano after the trial is over. Squalo's mission was to pretend he's working alongside Tizzano and then kill him when everything was over.

The first public hearing of the trial took place several days prior. Several reporters were there to witness Falco's victory, bolstering his mood. When Falco attempted to begin his questioning, the defense lawyer suddenly raised his hand and exclaimed that he will prove the defendants are not guilty. After the awkward silence and stifled laughter in the audience, the judge told the lawyer not to speak out of turn. Falco settled everyone down and asked Pollo to confirm his position of which gang he was affiliated with. However, Pollo remained silent for some time before suddenly stating that he wasn't with any gang. Just as Tizzano planned, Pollo rescinded his testimony by stating that he and the 32 other members are not guilty and that he made up the entire story. Falco was completely shocked and repeatedly asked Pollo the same thing, but he shook his head, denying everything he stated before. Consequently, the judge postponed the second public hearing due to the chaos that ensued.

Chapter 3

The first public hearing spread across the news as being Falco's downfall and the second public hearing is now about to begin. Pollo proceeds to the witness stand and introduces himself. He once again states that he lied to the prosecution in his testimony and that the 32 defendants are not Passione members. Falco attempts to object but it is overruled by the judge. Pollo claims that he committed perjury because Falco pressured him to. Falco objects again and mentions Exhibit A-7 as evidence, which is a conversation between Pollo and Falco that was transcribed by a court reporter. The defense lawyer rebuts that it's suspicious that Falco did not use a tape recorder. Falco then invalidates his suspicion by claiming the prosecution's tape recorder was broken at the time of the interview and that records from court reporters are proper evidence in a court of law. However, the defense then claims there is no evidence that the tape recorder was actually broken. In response, a young prosecutor sitting beside Falco argues that Falco would never do such a thing, but his outburst ends up worsening the impression the public had of the prosecutors.

Falco continues asking Pollo questions but to no avail and the spectators started getting irritated as time went on. For his last question, Falco asks if Pollo could swear to say the oath that he's telling the truth again even if his family is there watching him. However, Pollo says that he has no relatives since his parents passed away when he was young. The prosecution had found another witness aside from Pollo, but they were late to arrive. Just as the judge is about to postpone the prosecution's witness testimony, two detectives arrive to the courtroom along with a woman. The woman introduces herself as Melissa Collina. She and her husband runs an arancini shop in Salina, Sicily, and she reveals that Pollo is one of her customers. Falco ends the questioning there, confusing the spectators. However, Pollo and the defense lawyer were both afraid. As soon as the woman leaves, Pollo tells the judge that he has something to say. Squalo then remembers that Pollo's younger sister was kidnapped by Passione.

Chapter 4

Before the first hearing began, Squalo and Tizzano had met at a café to plan their strategy. The two discussed why Pollo betrayed the gang. Squalo thought Pollo was just a coward but Tizzano thought there was more to it, and that something had pressured Pollo into doing so. Tizzano hired a private eye to look into Pollo's background, discovering that he used his time off to go to an arancini shop in Salina every year. After more research, they learned the shop owner's wife is Pollo's half-sister and that she doesn't even know about their relationship. Tizzano's plan was to abduct Melissa and then have the lawyer raise his hand while wearing a ring that Melissa always wears, which was secretly gifted to her by Pollo. Pollo would see the ring and worry that Passione has his younger sister held captive. Tizzano's plan worked exactly as planned which is why Pollo rescinded his testimony at the first hearing.

In the present, Squalo assumes Falco must have rescued Melissa since she was supposed to have been abducted by people hired by Passione and locked in a warehouse. Squalo decides that it's time to use his Stand. By dropping his thermos and having it roll down, Squalo's Clash transports Tizzano's Talking Head into Pollo's mouth when he takes a sip of water from his bottle. Pollo renews his oath at the witness stand and testifies that he was threatened and intimidated by a certain group of people, which is why he was unable to speak the truth before. However, due to Talking Head, Pollo claims that Falco is the one who threatened him and that the prosecutor is the true criminal who took his half-sister hostage. Falco, Pollo himself, and the entire courtroom are dumbfounded at what he said. As Pollo continues frantically rambling, Squalo and Tizzano are the only calm individuals in the courtroom, satisfied that everything went just as Tizzano had predicted.

Chapter 5

After Pollo rescinded his testimony in the first public hearing, Squalo and Tizzano rendezvoused in a hotel room. The two intimately discussed how Tizzano's plan succeeded so far and that they shouldn't take Prosecutor Falco lightly. Tizzano told Squalo that he would need to use Clash in the second hearing and they created signals so Squalo would know when to act. Squalo worried about his mission to kill Tizzano, but Tizzano comforted him and told him to just pretend to swear his allegiance to their leader even if he doesn't mean it.

In the present, Tizzano puts his hand to his left ear, signaling that it's time to execute Pollo. At that moment, Clash rips out Pollo's tongue, spraying his blood everywhere. The judge attempts to call a recess but is interrupted by Tizzano, who yells at Falco to give an explanation about what just happened. Tizzano's remarks spur the spectators to cry out Falco's name, demanding him to tell the truth. Falco doesn't run away but picks up the microphone instead. However, Clash had already attached Talking Head to Falco's tongue after leaping into his mouth from Pollo's blood. Due to Tizzano's Stand, Falco confesses that everything Pollo said is correct and that the 32 defendants are all innocent. He claims that he and the police worked together to frame them.

While the audience is shocked, Tizzano gives Squalo the signal to finish Falco off. However, Squalo notices that Falco suddenly glared at him, and then looked straight at Tizzano right after. Before Clash could rip out Falco's tongue, he instinctively covers his mouth. Falco bites off the part of his tongue with Talking Head attached on his own. He points to Squalo and Tizzano and tells them that justice will prevail and that they'll end up burning in hell. Before he could finish speaking, Clash leaps into Falco's blood and completely shreds up Falco's tongue. Blood spurts out of his mouth and he falls backward to his death, as the audience in the courtroom screams.

Chapter 6

Gilberto Falco was one of Italy's most famous prosecutors for catching numerous gangsters, but his reputation completely changed after this trial. Believing that he captured innocent people and forced them to confess that they committed crimes, the members of Passione who were arrested based on Pollo's confession were reexamined. Since Falco was in charge of most of their interrogations, his evidence was considered unreliable, so almost all of the 32 members were acquitted and released.

Chapter 7

Squalo and Tizzano's mission is complete. Consequently, the trial impacted Italy's entire prosecution. Italy's anti-gang measures which had progressed in the past ten years regressed, causing Italy to quickly fall into the hands of Passione. Squalo and Tizzano head to Palermo's market, where Squalo calls their leader on a pay phone to report the success of their mission. However, their leader tells Squalo to continue with his plan of killing Tizzano, since he thinks Tizzano only succeeded because of a fluke. After hanging up, Squalo tells Tizzano that he's planning to kill their leader instead, which is something he had in mind from the beginning. Tizzano attempts to calm him down since it would be betraying Passione. However, Squalo mentions how their leader has not been able to get money recently, so he's behind in his payments to the top executives; the leader was obsessed with killing Tizzano so that he could prove to the executives that his team is still working hard, acting as if Tizzano died in battle. Squalo plans to tell the Boss of Passione that a man who only thinks of himself would not be beneficial to the Boss or the gang.

Squalo believes that anyone that treats Tizzano with disdain doesn't deserve to be in the organization, convinced that Tizzano's Stand is useful enough to either be a blade or a shield to protect the gang and that he would become one of the gang's core members. Although Tizzano thinks Squalo is being too overzealous since his Stand is weak on its own, he believes that they're invincible as a duo. As the two walk away, Squalo reflects back to Falco's last words. Wondering how Falco was so full of spirit in spite of his imminent death, Squalo asks what made him go so far. Much later, Squalo and Tizzano fight a fierce battle against certain traitors in Venice. As a result, Squalo would never find out the answer to his question in his lifetime.

Appearances

Characters
Diavolo
(Mentioned only)
32 Defendants
(Mentioned only)
Narancia Ghirga
(Mentioned only)

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