The largest mafia trial in Italy in three decades begins today, and 900 witnesses will testify against more than 350 people, including politicians and officials accused of being members of the powerful “Ndrangheta”.
Due to coronavirus-related restrictions, many defendants will attend the first hearings via video link from prison. Those in the courtroom will wear masks and respect the distance by sitting at least two meters apart.
Almost all of the accused were arrested in December 2019 after a lengthy investigation that began in 2016 and covered at least 11 Italian regions. About 2,500 police officers took part in operations targeting the suspects in Vibo Valentia, Calabria, the heart of an area largely controlled by the Mancuso clan of Ndrangheta.
A former senator, police chief, local councilors, and businessmen accused of aiding the mafia have also been arrested in Germany, Switzerland, and Bulgaria.