A Fourth Estate® Service

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Italy Holds Massive Mafia Trial

The Italian Public Prosecutor’s office held a maxi-trial in southern Italy against the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate with 355 defendants.

The Italian Public Prosecutor’s office held a maxi-trial in southern Italy against the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate with 355 defendants.

The trial was held at a fortified and a repurposed call center on the grounds of an industrial park in Calabria.

‘Ndrangheta is considered by prosecutors to be the most powerful mafia group in the country after the infamous Cosa Nostra gang in  Sicily lost power and influence.

‘Ndrangheta has been accused of murder, drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering, and abuse of office since the early 1990s.

The highest-profile defendant in the trial is the alleged mob Luigi Mancuso, 66 otherwise known as “The Uncle”.

Most of the accused are white-collar workers, including lawyers, accountants, businessmen, local politicians, and policemen who allegedly aided the ‘Ndrangheta.

Anti-mafia Prosecutor Nicola Gratteri said the trial is a big step in taking down the massive group and that it would finally face justice.

“Decades ago, people would tremble when talking about Cosa Nostra or when using the word ’Ndrangheta, something they would say only in a  hidden room, around the fireplace, whispering. Today we are beginning to speak out in the open sunlight,” said Gratteri.

There are 913 witnesses on the trial including 24,000 hours of intercepted audio evidence.

The trial started after almost five years since they launched operation  ‘“Rinascita” which lead to several arrests and the retrieval of important evidence.

Gratteri said he expected the trial to take a year to finish if six trials were held weekly. 

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