Gianluca Chininea/AFP/Getty Images
The judges announced their verdict in the so-called Rinascita Scott trial against alleged members of the ‘Ndrangheta mafia in Calabria, November 20, 2023.
Rome CNN –
An Italian court has sentenced more than 200 members of a criminal gang to a total of 2,200 years in prison after the country’s largest mafia trial in three decades.
During the trial, which began in January 2021 and took place in a purpose-built bunker in the southern Italian city of Lamezia Terme, more than 400 lawyers represented the defendants and around 900 witnesses testified.
A three-judge panel, which had been deliberating the fate of the 338 defendants since the end of the trial on October 16, announced its verdict on Monday. The court took one hour and 40 minutes to deliver its verdicts, Italian news agency Ansa reported.
Some 207 gangsters were jailed and more than 100 were acquitted. The total prison term includes five life sentences and three 30-year sentences.
The defendants included 42 women – a record for a mafia trial – of whom 39 were convicted.
Many of the defendants had colorful nicknames — including “The Wolf,” “Fatso,” “Sweetie” and “Lamb Thigh” — that stood out in about 24,000 intercepts, according to testimony presented during the trial.
Those convicted include former Forza Italia MP Giancarlo Pittelli; former police chief Giorgio Naselli; former financial police officer Michele Marinaro; former mayor Gianluca Callipo; and former regional councilors Luigi Incarnato and Pietro Giamborino, according to the sentencing document seen by CNN.
The trial took place in a specially built bunker in Lamezia Temre, southern Italy, for security reasons.
The gangsters belonged to the notorious Italian crime group “Nrangheta” and were convicted of mafia connections, extortion, bribery and five murders.
The trial was dubbed Rinascita Scott, named after U.S. special agent Scott W. Sieben, who was credited with uncovering ties between Colombian cartels and the Nrangheta.
The ‘Ndrangheta, based in the southern Italian region of Calabria, is considered the most powerful mafia group in the country and one of the most powerful criminal enterprises in the world, with thousands of members and affiliates around the world, according to the organization Italian DIA (Anti-Mafia Directorate). According to Europol, it has a monopoly on the European drug trade.
The three judges lived under police protection during the trial, which lasted two years and ten months.