ROME, Nov 20 An Italian court sentenced 322 defendants on Monday large-scale trial of the mafia group “Ndrangheta” to a total of 2,200 years in prison, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.
In the dock in the city of Lamezia Terme in the southern region of Calabria were both members of a gangster syndicate and representatives of political circles who entered into close cooperation with mafia structures. The most prominent names among those sentenced were former Forza Italia senator Giancarlo Pitelli and former Vibo Valentia traffic police chief Filippo Nesci, who received 11 and 4 years in prison respectively. Among those sentenced there are also former employees of the anti-mafia department, carabinieri in officer ranks, regional parliamentarians and lawyers.
The three female judges of the Vibo Valentia tribunal took refuge in a secure, secure location for 36 days to deliberate and pronounce their verdict, local publication Calabria News reported. It took 1 hour and 40 minutes to read the verdict listing all the sentences imposed. According to the newspaper Corriere della Calabria, 207 participants in the process received guilty verdicts.
The investigation began with a Carabinieri operation in December 2019, which led to the first arrests. It was followed by large-scale work by Italian investigative authorities, who managed to find many major mafiosi, including those hiding abroad. It was largely possible to bring the process to completion thanks to the “repentant” mafiosi who embarked on the path of cooperation with the investigation.
The trial in Lamezia Terme was the largest operation of Italian justice against the mafia since the historic “maxi-trial” in Palermo, which lasted from 1986 to 1992. The initiator of that trial against the leaders of Cosa Nostra was the famous investigator Giovanni Falcone, who was killed by the mafia in May 1992.
The 'Ndrangheta group from the southern region of Calabria is considered one of the most dangerous mafia structures in the world. According to reports from anti-mafia authorities, it is expanding its activities in the field of energy smuggling, continuing to occupy a leading position in global drug trafficking. A group from a poor region managed to virtually monopolize positions on the European cocaine market and, as the process showed, deeply penetrate the political and social life of the country.