Italian ‘maxi trial’ results in conviction of 70 ’Ndrangheta suspects

1 year ago 128

Italy struck an aboriginal stroke connected Saturday against the country’s almighty ’Ndrangheta organised transgression group, convicting 70 mobsters and others successful a first, important trial of the largest mafia proceedings successful much than 3 decades.

Judge Claudio Paris work retired verdicts and sentences against 91 defendants successful the monolithic courtroom successful the Calabrian metropolis of Lamezia Terme.

While 355 radical person yet to beryllium judged successful proceedings expected to past 2 years oregon longer, those judged connected Saturday had opted for a speedy trial.

That procedure, which took spot down closed doors, allowed them to person a 3rd of their condemnation shaved disconnected if they were convicted.

Since January, a specially adapted courtroom has hosted the “maxi trial” of hundreds of suspects affiliated with the ’Ndrangheta, the country’s richest and astir almighty mafia group.

Famed anti-mafia authoritative Nicola Gratteri – whose efforts to decision the ’Ndrangheta person resulted successful his having to unrecorded nether constabulary escort for much than 30 years – said the sentencing had gone “very well”.

Italian anti-mafia authoritative   Nicola Gratteri.
Italian anti-mafia authoritative Nicola Gratteri is pictured with his constabulary protection. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

“Out of 91 defendants, determination were 70 presumed guiltless who were convicted,” Gratteri told Italian quality bureau Adnkronos, adding that those acquitted had been insignificant players.

Some of the group’s astir unsafe members received the maximum 20-year condemnation requested by prosecutors. They included Domenico Macri of the group’s subject wing; Pasquale Gallone, the right-hand antheral of alleged mob brag Luigi Mancuso, whose proceedings is inactive pending; and Gregorio Niglia, whose relation included procuring weapons and extortion.

About a 3rd of the radical received sentences of a decennary oregon more, portion 21 individuals were acquitted, 7 astatine the petition of prosecutors, Gratteri said.

The ’Ndrangheta is entrenched successful Calabria, 1 of Italy’s poorest regions, successful the toed of the peninsula’s boot. It has surpassed Sicily’s Cosa Nostra successful powerfulness and wealth. The radical controls the bulk of cocaine flowing into Europe.

The biggest food successful the prosecution’s lawsuit – Mancuso “The Uncle”, 67, considered the person of the ’Ndrangheta families who dominated the Vibo Valentia state of Calabria; and ex-senator and lawyer Giancarlo Pittelli, 68, accused of being Mancuso’s white-collar fixer – person opted for the longer trial.

Of the 8 defendants successful the fast-track proceedings who faced a maximum of 20 years, six received the afloat sentence. They included Gallone, 62, who helped orchestrate his brag Mancuso’s 3 years connected the tally opening successful 2014. Mancuso had lone precocious been released from situation aft serving 19 years.

The ’Ndrangheta has astir 150 families jockeying for presumption wrong the organisation. They are supported by astatine slightest 6,000 members and affiliates successful Calabria, swelling to thousands worldwide, experts estimate.

One of the cells wrong  a bunker country   built for the maxi-trial.
One of the cells wrong a bunker country built for the maxi-trial. Photograph: Gianluca Chininea/AFP/Getty Images

Its scope is present international, with amerciable gains reinvested successful the morganatic economy. The ’Ndrangheta’s quality to infiltrate astir each segments of nationalist medication backmost location successful Calabria has allowed it to reap lucrative contracts and cement its power.

Charges successful the lawsuit see relation with mafia, attempted murder, wealth laundering, usury, dealing drugs, extortion and amerciable weapons possession.

The maxi-trial is being held successful a sprawling courtroom to accommodate the hundreds of lawyers involved. More than 900 prosecution witnesses and 58 authorities witnesses person been called.

In comparison, Italy’s legendary maxi-trial of 1986-1987, which dealt a stroke to Sicily’s Cosa Nostra, resulted successful 338 radical being convicted. Anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino were aboriginal assassinated by the mob.