January 13, 2021
Yarra Nardi and Gabriele Pirelli
Lamezia Terme (Reuters), Italy-Italy’s largest mafia trial began Wednesday, with more than 330 gangsters and their associates charged with extortion, drug trafficking and theft.
The case is based in Calabria, the toe of Italian boots, and targets the Ndrangheta clan, which is considered by prosecutors to be the most powerful mafia group in the country, and is the more famous Sicilian Mafia gang. Easily surpasses.
The trial took place at a remodeled call center in the Calabrian city of Lamezia Terme, with metal cages for defendants and desk lines for hundreds of lawyers, prosecutors and spectators. I will.
However, the first hearing immediately ran into the matter after the three judges assigned to the case sought dismissal, saying they were involved in the early aspects of the investigation.
According to lawyers, their request will be considered by another court and the procedure will be delayed by several days.
Many of the defendants were white-collar workers such as lawyers, accountants, businessmen, local politicians, and police officers, and prosecutor Nikola Gratelli said he was willing to help Ndrangheta build a criminal empire. I am.
Mr. Gratelli told reporters as he entered the courthouse, saying the investigation prompted locals to speak.
“In the last two years, there has been a surge in proceedings from oppressed entrepreneurs and citizens, usury victims, and those who have lived for years under the threat of’Ndrangheta,” he said. The prosecutor said. Mob.
The state calls 913 witnesses and uses 24,000 hours of intercepted conversations to support a myriad of accusations. Gratteri expects the trial to take a year to complete and said the court is sitting six days a week.
Another 92 suspects chose a fast-track trial in the same case, with hearings scheduled to begin in late January, but in February, far more in five murders, including a mafia hitman. A small group of defendants will be brought to justice. The prosecutor says he was shot dead because he was gay.
Italy’s simultaneous attempt at hundreds of mafia suspects was in Palermo in 1986, a turning point in the fight against Sicilian Mafia, marking the beginning of the group’s rapid decline.
The trial had a major impact as it targeted a large number of mob families. The Calabrian trials are primarily focused on one group, the Manxo clan in Vibo Valentia, and many of Ndrangheta’s top levels remain intact.
“There’s a long way to go, but don’t give up because there are thousands of people who believe in us. You can’t let them down,” Gratelli told Reuters.
(Report and writing by Crispian Balmer; edited by Raissa Kasolowsky and Mike Collett-White)
Judges seek evasion when Italy’s major mafia trial begins
Source link Judges seek evasion when Italy’s major mafia trial begins