Italy starts largest-ever Mafia trials

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 14, 2021

Italy's largest mafia trial in more than 30 years has opened involving more than 350 alleged members and associates of the feared "Ndrangheta" crime syndicate. The trial targeted numerous mob families.

In Italy, so-called "maxi-trials", which include scores of defendants and countless charges, are seen as the best judicial resource against the country's various organised crime groups, of which the 'Ndrangheta is now considered the most powerful, controlling the bulk of cocaine flowing into Europe. "Today we are beginning to speak out in the open sunlight".

The trial grew out of an investigation of 12 clans linked to a convicted 'ndrangheta boss.

The 'Ndrangheta's true make-up and wealth are hard to establish but authorities believe there are some 150 'Ndrangheta families in Calabria and at least 6,000 members and affiliates in the region, with thousands more worldwide.

A smaller group of defendants will stand trial in February over five murders, including that of a hitman allegedly shot dead because he was gay.

The town of Lamezia Terme, where the trial will take place, was cited in a 2008 parliamentary organised crime report as a public safety emergency zone where the region's "greatest increase in serious bloodshed has been recorded". There is a sea of tables for 600 lawyers to work on, with microphones and chairs safely distanced to respect COVID-19 health rules.

The Mafia is poised to exploit coronavirus and not just in Italy
Italy targets violent clan in biggest Mafia trial in decades

Since the early 2000s, the 'Ndrangheta is believed to have become the most powerful and the richest of Italy's three crime syndicates - the others being Cosa Nostra in Sicily and Camorra in the Campania region around Naples.

While the numbers are impressive, this week's trial isn't Italy's largest one against mobsters. In 1986, in Palermo, in a similarly specially constructed bunker, 475 alleged members of Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian Mafia, went on trial. Those proceedings resulted in more than 300 convictions and 19 life sentences, and helped reveal much about the brutal methods and murderous strategies of the top mob bosses on the island, including sensational killings that bloodied the Palermo area during years of power struggles.

A major mafia trial against 325 suspected mobsters and corrupt officials kicked off in the southern Italian city of Lamezia Terme on Wednesday.

"Ndrangheta was nearly impenetrable at the start due to its adherence to blood ties".

A view shows one of the multiple television screens set up in a special courtroom on January 13, 2021 prior to the opening of the "Rinascita-Scott" maxi-trial in Lamezia Terme, Italy. "Several dozen informants come from within the organizations" ranks while others are former members of the Cosa Nostra. Money and power have seen them acquire hotels, restaurants, vehicle dealerships, pharmacies, and several other businesses throughout Italy, particularly in Rome's affluent North.

The buying spree in past years spread heavily across Europe, as the 'ndrangheta sought to launder illicit revenues but also to make "clean" money by running legitimate businesses, including in the tourism and hospitality sectors, according to investigators.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE