An Italian court has reached a landmark verdict in one of the nation’s largest mafia trials in recent history. More than 200 members of the notorious ‘Nrangheta crime group have been sentenced, totaling an impressive 2,200 years behind bars. This trial, which commenced in January 2021 and spanned several months, took place in the fortified confines of a purpose-built bunker in the quaint southern Italian town of Lamezia Terme. The extensive proceedings involved a staggering number of participants, with over 400 lawyers representing the accused and approximately 900 witnesses offering their testimonies.
The panel of three judges, who had meticulously assessed the fate of the 338 defendants since the end of the trial in October 16, finally delivered their verdict on Monday. In a swift one hour and 40 minutes, the court handed down its decisions, resulting in the imprisonment of 207 mobsters and the acquittal of over 100 others. Notably, these convictions include five life sentences and three 30-year sentences, underscoring the gravity of the crimes committed.
This historic trial also broke new ground by featuring the highest number of convicted women in a mafia case – a total of 39 female defendants were found guilty. Alongside the alarming number of convictions, the defendants themselves harbor a colorful array of nicknames like “The Wolf,” “Fatso,” “Sweetie,” and “Lamb Thigh,” which were frequently caught in the crosshairs of the approximately 24,000 wiretaps submitted as evidence throughout the proceedings.
Among the prominent figures brought to justice are Giancarlo Pittelli, a former Forza Italia lawmaker, Giorgio Naselli, former police chief, Michele Marinaro, a former financial police officer, ex-mayor Gianluca Callipo, and former regional councilors Luigi Incarnato and Pietro Giamborino. The court’s sentencing document, as per CNN’s sources, provides insight into the vast scope and implications of their criminal activities.
The convictions primarily revolve around charges of mafia association, extortion, bribery, and involvement in five murders. This trial, known as the Rinascita Scott, is named in honor of United States special agent Scott W. Sieben, renowned for exposing connections between Colombia’s cartels and the ‘Nrangheta. Operating primarily in Calabria, a region in southern Italy, the ‘Ndrangheta is universally recognized as the country’s most formidable mafia syndicate and one of the world’s most powerful criminal organizations. The Italian DIA (Anti-Mafia Directorate) estimates that the group boasts thousands of members and affiliates globally, while Europol declares its monopoly over European drug trafficking.
Considering the gravity of this trial and the potential repercussions, the three judges involved had been living under constant police protection throughout the two-year and ten-month duration of the proceedings. It is a testament to their bravery and dedication in upholding justice that such an extensive trial was successfully conducted and concluded.
– Italian DIA: [URL](https://www.dia.gov.it/)
– Europol: [URL](https://www.europol.europa.eu/)