(MENAFN) In the southern Italian city of Lamezia Terme, an Italian court is poised to deliver its verdict in the largest mafia trial in decades, targeting over 300 suspected members or supporters of the 'Ndrangheta criminal organization. The prosecution, seeking to send a strong message against mafia activities, has requested substantial prison sentences, ranging up to 30 years, with a cumulative total potentially reaching 4,744 years for the defendants.
The trial, spanning three years, represents a significant effort by the Italian state to demonstrate its intolerance for the operations of various mafia groups. 'Ndrangheta, headquartered in the Calabria region of southern Italy, stands as the country's most formidable criminal organization with extensive global connections. It is widely believed to exert significant control over the cocaine trade in Europe, with estimated annual global sales exceeding 50 billion euros (USD54.5 billion).
To accommodate the magnitude of the trial, a communications center in Lamezia Terme was transformed into a high-security facility, housing a sizable courtroom. The case relied heavily on the testimonies of over 50 key witnesses who renounced their association with 'Ndrangheta. Comprising around 150 families, the group's influence extends beyond Italy, making it a significant player in international organized crime.
The outcome of this trial holds implications for Italy's ongoing battle against organized crime, echoing the historic 1980s trial in Sicily that targeted over 400 members of the Cosa Nostra mafia group. The verdict will be closely watched as a measure of the Italian legal system's resolve in confronting and dismantling powerful criminal organizations within its borders.
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