One of the biggest trials against the Italian mafia has ended. A court in Calabria sentenced around 200 people to prison terms, including the leaders of the ‘Ndrangheta crime group, who each received 30 years in prison. Among those convicted is a former member of the Forward Italy party, as well as several former police officers and corrupt officials.
In one of the biggest pro-mafia trials in recent decades, the court in the southern Italian city of Lamezia Terme handed down prison sentences totaling several hundred years against the members of the Calabrian mafia group ‘Ndragheta. Some 200 mobsters and their assistants, as well as several former police officers, officials and politicians, are among those convicted.
President of the court Brigida Cavasino spent more than an hour and a half reading the names of those convicted and their sentences, which range from a few months to 30 years in prison, while defendants incarcerated in prisons across the country were able to watch the verdict via video link.
The trial was directed primarily against the Mancuso clan. Local boss Saverio Razionale and Domenico Bonavota were sentenced to 30 years in prison each. Meanwhile, the top-ranking alleged boss of the clan is still awaited Luigi Mancuso, known by the nickname Uncle. His trial was separate from the current trial.
Giancarlo Pittelliwho represented the colors of the conservative party Forward Italy of the former prime minister in the benches of the Italian parliament Silvio Berlusconiwho died in June this year, was sentenced to eleven years in prison for collaborating with the mafia.
They are demanding 5,000 years in prison for several hundred members of Italy’s largest mafia
Since the start of the process in 2021, more than 300 suspects have had to defend themselves. The prosecution requested a total of more than 4,700 years in prison for them. The charges ranged from murder and gang membership to drug trafficking, money laundering and corruption in government construction contracts.
The trial took place under strict security measures. More than 50 Crown witnesses testified, leaving the ‘Ndrangheta and breaking a code of silence known as “omerta” during the hearing.
The ‘Ndrangheta, based in Calabria, has gone from being the third largest mafia organization behind the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the Neapolitan Camorra to become the largest Italian crime syndicate with connections around the world.
Thanks to the senior state prosecutor that the trial took place at all To Nicola Gratteri, who has been fighting the mafia for more than three decades. After years of investigations, shortly before Christmas 2019, he had hundreds of suspected mobsters and their helpers arrested.
A similar trial of mafia members took place in Sicily in the 1980s, when more than 400 defendants sat on the dock.