Tight security surrounds the trial of sixty suspected Mafia chiefs in the town of Reggio di Calabria, near the toe of Italy.
Tight security surrounds the trial of sixty suspected Mafia chiefs in the town of Reggio di Calabria, near the toe of Italy. The men are accused of intimidation, murder, misuse of millions of pounds of public funds, and overall organisation of crime syndicates.
SYNOPSIS: In this courtroom the accused have heard the prosecutor allege that their powerful 'families' have manipulated the development of Calabria, "controlling all productive sectors, and increasing their presence in the ambit of international trade". The men in the barred dock were accused of running crime syndicates which had, in recent years, overshadowed even those of Sicily. Those heavy bars, and big squads of police on duty, revealed that nothing was being left to chance.
A cabinet minister is among more than forty prosecution witnesses scheduled to give evidence about misuse of funds for a giant steelworks and expanded port complex at Gioia Tauro. Eight years ago, it was announced the proposed steelworks would be the showpiece of a plan to industrialise the South, lifting it from its perennial poverty.
Some five hundred million dollars has been poured into the project, but only an uncompleted port is to be seen. Bureaucracy, had planning, but especially massive corruption, are blamed for the mess the project has become.
It is these men who were said to have taken almost total control of the project. The prosecution hopes to show how contracts fell so completely into Mafia hands that not a truck moved, nor a brick was laid without its consent and rake-off. And, since 1974, there have been more than four hundred violent deaths in the Calabrian peninsular, many of them allegedly connected with the struggle for the rich pickings from Gioia Tauro. But these men in chains seem to be little troubled, trusting the Mafia's rule of Omerta--their rule of Silence.