The trial is being held in a transformed call-center within the Calabrian metropolis of Lamezia Terme, with defendants positioned in steel cages and rows of desks arrange for the a whole lot of attorneys, prosecutors, journalists and spectators anticipated to attend.
Many of the accused are white-collar staff, together with attorneys, accountants, businesspeople, native politicians and law enforcement officials, who chief prosecutor Nicola Gratteri says willingly aided the ‘Ndrangheta in constructing its crime empire.
Speaking to reporters as he entered the courthouse, Gratteri stated the investigation had inspired locals to talk out.
“In the last two years we have seen a surge in lawsuits from oppressed entrepreneurs and citizens, victims of usury, people who for years have lived under the threats of the ‘Ndrangheta,” stated the prosecutor, who has spent greater than 30 years combating the mob.
The state will name on 913 witnesses and draw on 24,000 hours of intercepted conversations to assist the myriad costs.
Gratteri stated he anticipated the trial would take a yr to finish, with the court docket on account of sit six days every week.
Another 92 suspects have opted for a fast-track trial in the identical case, with their hearings on account of begin later in January, whereas a a lot smaller group of defendants will stand trial in February over 5 murders — together with the killing of a mafia hitman who was shot useless as a result of he was homosexual, prosecutors say.
The final time Italy tried a whole lot of alleged mafiosi concurrently was in 1986 in Palermo in a case which represented a turning level within the struggle towards Cosa Nostra, marking the start of the group’s sharp decline.
That trial had a big impact as a result of it focused quite a few mob households. The Calabrian trial focuses totally on only one group — the Mancuso clan from the province of Vibo Valentia — leaving a lot of the ‘Ndrangheta’s prime hierarchy untouched.
“The road ahead is still very long, but we mustn’t give up because there are thousands of people who believe in us. We can’t let them down,” Gratteri informed Reuters.