A record number of convictions were made on Monday in Italy’s largest trial of people linked to the ‘Ndrangheta criminal organization. The trial lasted over three years and resulted in the sentencing of more than 200 of the over 300 people accused.
The “Rinascita Scott” trial began in a court in the Italian town of Lamezia Terme in January 2021 and concluded on October 16, 2023. During this period, over 400 lawyers were involved, and almost 900 witnesses were heard. Although 100 defendants were acquitted, the ruling took an hour and 40 minutes to read out. Crimes included murder, extortion, drug trafficking, loan sharking, abuse of office, and money laundering. The total imprisonment time of the sentences was over 2,200 years in jail, including five life sentences and three 30-year sentences.
Those who were convicted included civil servants, a former chief of police, a former mayor, and former regional councilors. A former Italian senator, Giancarlo Pitelli, was also convicted. He was found guilty of collusion with a mafia-type organization, receiving an 11-year sentence of imprisonment.
The ‘Ndrangheta is an extensive criminal organization originating in the Italian region of Calabria but is now expected to be present in over 40 countries across the world. Due to potential safety concerns, the trial took place in a converted bunker. The three judges hearing the case have also been under police protection throughout the trial.