(CNN) — An Italian court sentenced more than 200 members of a criminal gang to a total of 2,200 years in prison, following the largest mafia trial in the country in three decades.
During the trial, which began in January 2021 and took place in a purpose-built bunker in the southern Italian city of Lamezia Terme, more than 400 lawyers represented the defendants and some 900 witnesses gave evidence.
A three-judge panel, which has deliberated on the fate of the 338 defendants since the trial ended on October 16, issued its verdict on Monday. The court took one hour and 40 minutes to hand down the sentence, reported the Italian media Ansa.
Some 207 gangsters were imprisoned and more than 100 acquitted. The total sentences include five life sentences and three 30-year sentences.
Among the defendants were 42 women – a record in a trial against the mafia – of whom 39 were convicted.
Many of the defendants had colorful nicknames – such as “La Loba”, “Gorda”, “Bombón” and “Muslo de Cordero” – that were captured in some 24,000 wiretaps, according to testimonies presented during the trial.
Among those convicted are former Forza Italia legislator Giancarlo Pittelli; former police chief Giorgio Naselli; former financial police agent Michele Marinaro; former mayor Gianluca Callipo; and former regional councilors Luigi Incarnato and Pietro Giamborino, according to the sentencing document seen by CNN.
The trial took place in a specially built bunker in Lamezia Temre, southern Italy, amid security concerns. (Credit: Valeria Ferraro/AP)
The gangsters were affiliated with the famous Italian ‘Nrangheta and were convicted of mafia association, extortion, bribery and five murders.
The trial was called Rinascita Scott, after US Special Agent Scott W. Sieben, who was credited with uncovering links between the Colombian cartels and the ‘Nrangheta.
Based in the southern Italian region of Calabria, the ‘Ndrangheta is considered the most powerful mafia group in the country and one of the most powerful criminal enterprises in the world, with thousands of members and affiliates worldwide, according to the DIA (Anti-Mafia Directorate ) Italian. It has a monopoly on drug trafficking in Europe, according to Europol.
The three judges lived under police protection during the trial, which lasted two years and 10 months.
CNN’s Christian Edwards contributed to this report