By Greta Mizere
A trial of at least 350 defendants has been opened in the southern region of Calabria, for having connections to the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate.
The charges range from murder through corruption and drug-trafficking to money laundering.
A 1,000 capacity courtroom with high security has been built for the case in the Calabrian city of Lamezia Terme, where most defendants have been attending the ongoing case via video call due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There are 900 witnesses testifying against the hundreds of people who have been charged with these crimes, many of those including government officials and politicians.
The case comes after a lengthy investigation of three years which resulted in the mass arrest of almost all the defendants in December 2019.
The areas controlled by the ‘Ndrangheta clan were mainly found in Calabria, however a former senator, a police chief and multiple businessmen from numerous European countries were also arrested as suspects for aiding the Mafia.
Antonio Nicaso, a ‘Ndrangheta expert emphasised the significance of this trial:
“What is certain is that this trial will be one for the history books on organised crime … With these proceedings, Italy will finally have the opportunity to reveal to the world the secrets of the ’Ndrangheta, which over the years has grown silently and in the shadows.”
It is a hope for the citizens of Calabria that this trial can mark the start of a peaceful life without the ‘Ndrangheta.