Italian councillors and gangsters who allegedly stole millions of euros in public money, have gone on trial in Rome.
Among the 46 defendants in the so-called ‘Mafia Capital’ case is former neo-fascist gangster Massimo Carminati. He and other men on trial are appearing before the judge via video link from jail.
Carminati and his right-hand man – convicted murderer Salvatore Buzzi – are accused of orchestrating the crime ring. Both deny having mafia links.
“Can you not see that this is all perfectly orchestrated?” Carminati’s lawyer, Giosue’ Naso, asked outside the court. “We’ve waited for a year for the chance to appear in front of the court and we can’t understand why it took so long. In this past year nothing has been done, there have been no investigative activities”.
Prosecutors say they have up to 36,000 hours of wiretap evidence to back up their case. They claim to have uncovered systematic corruption within the Italian capital. MPs, bureaucrats and businessmen are alleged to have worked with mobsters to rig public tenders on everything from creating refugee centres to rubbish collection.
The trial is expected to conclude in July, 2016.