The largest trial against the 'Ndrangheta in the last thirty years has begun in Calabria

The largest trial against the 'Ndrangheta in the last thirty years has begun in Calabria

The first hearing of the huge trial against the clans of the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta begins on the morning of 13 January, involving more than 300 defendants in mafia activities, both in Italy and abroad

(photo: GIANLUCA CHININEA / AFP via Getty Images) On the morning of Wednesday 13 January in Lamezia Terme the Rinascita-Scott maxi-trial opens against some powerful clans of the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta, in a classroom with a capacity of a thousand people. In the huge bunker, in line with the anti Covid-19 regulations, 150 video links will be made simultaneously with the accused in prison. The numbers of the trial represent various firsts for the last thirty years of the fight against the mafia: 438 counts of indictment, 325 defendants, 913 prosecution witnesses and 58 collaborators of justice called to testify.

As reported to Adnkronos the magistrate Nicola Gratteri, the proceeding "is not only a stone in the wall against the mafia but is also important for understanding the evolution of the 'Ndrangheta, which not only does extortion and usury but which weaves relationships with the public administration, with so-called white-collar workers ”. In fact, the process starts from the large operation carried out in 11 Italian regions between 2016 and 2019 by the Catanzaro district anti-mafia prosecutor, coordinated by Gratteri. An investigation that revealed the close ties between the mafia, politics and the economy that transformed the 'Ndrangheta into a global network, leading to the arrest in December 2019 of hundreds of suspects in the Vibo Valentia area controlled mainly by the Mancuso clan . Through several blitzes, the elite Carabinieri de i Cacciatori unit managed to locate suspected fugitives in secret hiding places located for example behind sliding stairs, hatches and manholes.

In addition to the members of the Ndrangheta clans active between Vibo Valentia and Catanzaro, among the accused for mafia association there are prominent political personalities such as the former Forza Italia senator Giancarlo Pittelli and the former regional councilor of the Party democrat Pietro Giamborino. A former senator, a police chief, local councilors and businessmen accused of aiding and abetting the Mafia were also arrested in Germany, Switzerland and Bulgaria.

Once derided by the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the Camorra from Campania , today the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta is by far the most powerful criminal group in Italy and one of the richest in the world. A 2013 study by the Demoskopita Research Institute estimated the mafia organization to be more financially powerful than Deutsche Bank and McDonald's combined, with annual revenues of € 53 billion.

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