The trial of the Italian mafia. The accused as many as 355 …

Hundreds of potential members of the Ndrangheta, Italy’s most powerful mafia group, will stand trial in Calabria this week, when the country’s largest “big trial” in three decades begins.

The trial of the criminal syndicate and its accomplices – including politicians, civil servants, police and white-collar workers – is expected to take more than two years.

The trial involves 355 defendants, more than 900 prosecution witnesses and 400 lawyers, as well as an unprecedented 58 state witnesses willing to break their code of silence.

The trial, which begins Wednesday, will take place in a specially equipped room in the heart of the Ndrangheta in Calabria, Italy’s poorest region. It is aimed only at the Mancuso family and those closely associated with it.

During the recent hearing, it took three hours to read the names of the accused.

Among them are former parliamentarian Giancarlo Pittelli, a well-known lawyer, Freemason and former senator from the Forward, Italy party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. He denies allegations that he acted as a mediator between the Ndrangheta and the world of politics, banking and other influential institutions, including the courts.

Most of the accused were detained during the raids in December 2019, operations took place throughout Italy, as well as in Germany, Switzerland and Bulgaria.

Charges include involvement in a mafia group, murder and attempted murder, drug trafficking, extortion, disclosure of official secrets, abuse of office, storage of stolen goods and money laundering.