On Wednesday a huge trial against the “Ndrangheta clan” in Calabria began amid tight security.
A converted call center has been used as the trial court. The defendants will be placed in metal cages. Rows of desks have been placed to seat hundreds of people including lawyers and prosecutors. The media and the public are also expected to attend the trial in large numbers. The trial will take place in Lamezia Terme, a city in Calabria.
The trial would take a year with the court working six days a week. The state is planning to call 913 witnesses including locals who finally spoke up about extortion and other racketeering conducted by this dreaded group. The case will also utilize 24,000 hours of intercepted conversations to assist in the prosecution.
Chief prosecutor Nicola Gratteri has said that many of the accused are white collar workers who willingly helped the clan to build a crime empire and become powerful and oppress entrepreneurs and citizens. The prosecutor has spent more than 30 years fighting against the mob.
The white collars workers include lawyers, accountants and businesspeople. Local politicians and police officers who aided and abetted the gang have also been named.
The trial is focusing on just one group — The Mancuso clan. The top hierarchy of the clan will remain untouched and Gratteri told Reuters, “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.”