One of Italy’s biggest mafia trials begins when 350 ‘Ndrangheta suspects are brought to justice
Rome – One of the largest mafia trials in Italy in history began in southern Italy on Wednesday. Hundreds of defendants are charged with working for a hideous criminal company with tentacles that stretch so far in the world that they are reportedly making more money selling drugs than McDonald’s making burgers.
If you’ve never heard of the ‘Criminal Syndicate, that might have something to do with how difficult the name is to pronounce. (Approximately: WIRE-get-ah)
The ‘Ndrangheta is based in the southern region of Calabria – up to “toes” of Italy’s “boots” on a map – from which it coordinates athat generates tens of billions of euros every year, mainly from cocaine.
In this case, there are more than 350 suspects, including politicians and other officials, who are accused of being Ndrangheta members. About 900 witnesses will testify against them, and about 400 lawyers are also involved in the massive process, which they make even more complicated.
The authorities only had to build a highly secure courtroom with high capacity and space for 1,000 people – socially distant – for the trial. Thanks to COVID-19, however, many of the accused will appear from prison via video link.
Italian officials take health and safety concerns very seriously. The last time there was a so-called “maxi trial”, which was even comparable to this, was in the 1990s against Sicily’s Cosa Nostra Mafia.
Shortly thereafter, the two main judges were murdered.