More than 200 people were accused in the biggest trial against the Italian mafia, ‘Ndrangheta They were sentenced this Monday to their first sentence in the first macro-trial against this criminal organization, which is considered one of the strongest and most brutal in the world.
Of the 343 accused, 131 were acquitted or their crimes were declared statute-barred. The rest of the prisoners total approx. 2,100 years of imprisonment, compared to 4,744 claimed by the Prosecutor’s Office, according to local media reports.
The test opened in January 2021 against 343 defendants belonging to or collaborating with the ‘Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia, one of the most powerful and bloodthirsty criminal organizations on the planet.
The reading of the sentence lasted almost two hours.
So the process is done in a bunker built in an industrial setting near the Calabrian town of Lamezia Terme for security reasons but also to accommodate the accused and their defense teams.
After a month of deliberation and then reading the sentence in about two hours, the judges convicted many gangsters, politicians, and local authorities.
Among those convicted was the former deputy of the “Berlusconian” Forza Italia, Giancarlo Pittelli, who was accused of collaborating with this criminal organization and had to serve 11 years in prison. On the other hand, Carabinieri lieutenant Giorgio Naselli was sentenced to two and a half years.
The worst sentences for the considered boss of the area of San Gregorio d’Ipona, Saverio Razionale, of Sant’Onofrio, Domenico Bonavota, or that of the Lo Bianco clan, Paolino Lo Bianco, all of them 30 years imprisonment.
The biggest trial against the mafia since 1986
This is the biggest trial of the Italian mafia since the historic trial in Palermo against the Sicilian Cosa Nostra in 1986, which revealed for the first time its structure and put more than 460 criminals on the bench, as well as some of his employers.
On this occasion, the Italian authorities chose to hold the trial against the ‘Ndrangheta in the region where it operates, Calabria, instead of doing it elsewhere, in order to send a message of strength and the presence of the state against organized crime.
The accused, alleged gangsters and associates such as politicians, soldiers, and businessmen, were arrested in 2019 within the framework of the Rinascita-Scott operation directed and completed by the prosecutor of Catanzaro, Nicola Gratteri, in Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, and Switzerland.
The ‘Ndrangheta has a turnover of around 50 billion euros a year
The accused responded to charges such as membership in a mafia association, homicide, attempted homicide, extortion, illicit possession of weapons and explosives, influence peddling, corruption, abuse of power, and drug trafficking.
At the center of the investigations is the “‘ndrina,” or Mancuso clan, which researchers consider one of the most powerful and influential families of the ‘Ndrangheta and a real authority in the Calabrian province of Vibo Valentia.
Currently, the ‘Ndrangheta is the most powerful mafia in Italy and one of the most prosperous on the planet, since it invoices about 50,000 million euros per year, according to experts.