Former Riace Mayor Domenico Lucano was sentenced by Italian authorities to 13 years and two months in prison for alleged conspiracy, abuse of office, fraud, extortion, embezzlement, and abetting illegal immigration.
Lucano, who was mayor during the European migrant crisis was famous for taking in hundreds of refugees and allowing them to live and work at their small town in Calabria.
Lucano was already arrested in 2018 after interior minister, Matteo Salvini, announced a series of anti-immigration measures and was placed under house arrest since then.
“I will be stained for life for wrongs I didn’t commit. I have no words, I didn’t expect it, I spent my life chasing ideals, I fought against the mafia; I sided with the last ones, the refugees. And I don’t even have the money to pay the lawyers … today it all ends for me. There is no justice,” said Lucano on his sentencing.
According to the investigation, Lucano also broke the public tender process by awarding waste collection contracts to two migrant cooperatives.
There was also a was charge for organizing “marriages of convenience” was also ordered to repay some €500,000 for his crimes.
Lucano said he would try to appeal the verdict but would remain on house arrest.
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