January 27, 2021

Italys mafia trial of the century opens in courtroom with seats for 1000 – The Times


Hundreds of lawyers, prosecutors, police officers and defendants drew breath as they filed into Italy’s newest and largest courtroom today for the opening of the country’s biggest mafia trial in 30 years.

“I’m impressed, it’s beautiful,” Leopoldo Marchese, a lawyer, said before adding: “Is there a smoking area? It’s raining outside.”

Set up in a former phone call centre on a drab industrial estate near Lamezia Terme in Calabria, south Italy, amid citrus groves and eucalyptus trees, the room with 1,000 seats including 70 sitting in five cages for the accused is ready for a trial lasting up to three years in which 355 alleged members of Italy’s richest and most secretive mafia — the ’Ndrangheta — face justice along with the politicians and police