An Italian judge has convicted 70 people connected to the country’s most powerful mafia clan – the ‘Ndrangheta, with some receiving maximum-length sentences.
Marathon Mafia trials were held on the weekend. 91 defendants were brought to trial in a converted courtroom in Lamezia Terme in Calabria.
A total of 70 mobsters were convicted in the trial, one of the country’s largest ever. They were charged with drug trafficking, murder and extortion as well as theft, theft, and abuse of office.
Anti-mafia prosecutor Nicola Gratteri – who has lived under police protection for more than 30 years as a result of his mission to defeat the clan – remarked that the sentencing was an “important”One and the same, he wasn’t “afraid of anything or anyone”.
Many of the mobster convicts had chosen to undergo a fast, private trial. This would allow them to reduce their prison sentences by upto a third. Around a third are scheduled to spend over 10 years in prison.
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Bulgaria, Germany, Italy and Italy launched Europe-wide raids at 46 properties as part of a tax fraud investigation into the Italian Mafia.
A handful of clan leaders were however sentenced with maximum 20 year sentences. Pasquale Gallone, 62, who helped coordinate his boss’s three-year run from 2014, was one of the gangsters to receive a two-decade long sentence.
Gratteri stated that the majority of those acquitted among the tried were marginal suspects.
He said, commenting on the verdict: “We continue our work with serenity and the firmness needed for such an important trial.”
In the next two years, 355 suspected gangsters will be tried and sentenced for corruption in connection with the “Ndrangheta,” a group of about 150 families.
The clan, more powerful than the notorious Sicilian Cosa Nostra mob, is a major player in Europe’s cocaine trafficking, said to control about 80% of the continent’s smuggling operations.
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