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Italy targets violent clan in biggest mafia trial in decades

January 13, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 48.4%. 1 min read.

Italian anti-mafia prosecutor Nicola Gratteri (C) is surrounded by cameramen and journalists as he arrives on January 13, 2021 for the opening of the 'Rinascita-Scott' maxi-trial in which more than 350 alleged members of Calabria's 'Ndrangheta mafia group and their associates go on trial in Lamezia Terme, Calabria. (Photo by Alexandria SAGE / AFP) (Photo by ALEXANDRIA SAGE/AFP via Getty Images)

One of Italy's largest-ever mafia trials kicked off on Wednesday, with more than 320 suspected 'Ndrangheta mobsters and their associates facing an array of charges, including extortion, drug trafficking and theft.

Lamezia Terme, Italy,One of Italy's largest-ever mafia trials kicked off on Wednesday, with more than 320 suspected mobsters and their associates facing an array of charges, including extortion, drug trafficking and theft.

The case targets the 'Ndrangheta clan, which is based in Calabria, the toe of Italy's boot, and is considered by prosecutors to be the most powerful mafia group in the country, easily eclipsing the more famous Cosa Nostra gang in Sicily.

The trial is being held in a converted call-center in the Calabrian city of Lamezia Terme, with defendants placed in metal cages and rows of desks set up for the hundreds of lawyers, prosecutors, journalists and spectators expected to attend.

Many of the accused are white-collar workers, including lawyers, accountants, businesspeople, local politicians and police officers, who chief prosecutor Nicola Gratteri says willingly aided the 'Ndrangheta in building its crime empire.

Another 92 suspects have opted for a fast-track trial in the same case, with their hearings due to start later in January, while a much smaller group of defendants will stand trial in February over five murders -- including the killing of a mafia hitman who was shot dead because he was gay, prosecutors say.

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