Italy: Crucial trial against mafia members starts today

One of the most crucial and important trials against members of the mafia and corrupt officials following an investigation by Italian security officials into the ‘Ndrangheta, is expected to start in Italy,

More than 900 witnesses are expected to testify while the list of charges include homicide, drug trafficking, blackmail and money laundering.

The trial will start today and is expected to last more than two years. The proceedings will take place in a building in the city of Lamezia Terme which has been specifically modified for the purpose. It is located in southern Calabria which is in the heart of ‘Ndrangheta territory.

The last trial held on this massive scale was in the 1980s, from 1986 – 1987 where the targets were a number of families belonging to La Cosa Nostra in Sicily. The trail which begins today however is targeting one family, the Mancuso gang, which forms part of the ‘Ndrangheta and operates mostly in the province of Vibo Valentia, in Calabria.

During the pre-trial proceedings, it took more than three hours to read the names of all the people accused, which includes politicians, police officials, civil servants as well as members and accomplices of the ‘Ndrangheta.