‘Mafia Capital’ mobsters jailed

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Rome, July 20 (IANS/AKI) An Italian court on Thursday handed lengthy prison sentences to a one-eyed former neo-Fascist mobster and his sidekick for masterminding a mafia-style racket that plundered millions of euros from Rome City Hall.

After a marathon 20-month trial at a high-security prison, Massimo Carminati was jailed for 20 years and Salvatore Buzzi for 19.

Forty-four other people were in the dock in the landmark trial in which several other gang members were jailed. They included former politicians.

Carminati allegedly told his lawyer he was “satisfied” with his sentence.

Rome’s grassroots mayor Virginia Raggi was in court to hear the reading of the verdicts, which Italian television broadcast live at the end of the trial.

Prosecutors had asked for the pair to be sent to prison for 28 years and 26 years respectively.

The mobsters were accused of masterminding a racket that ran key municipal services including garbage collection, park maintenance and refugee centres, by bribing and intimidating a large number of politicians, city council clerks and businessmen.

The ‘Mafia Capital’ investigation laid bare rampant corruption in Rome as politicians, civil servants and businessmen colluded with the mobsters to rig public tenders and cream off public funds.

Many blame for the racket for the poor state of services in the capital.

Rome’s former rightwing mayor Gianni Alemanno was also caught up in the scandal. Charges were dropped against him in the case but he is facing a separate trial for corruption and illegal party funding.

Carminati, 58, has already spent years of his life in jail, and lost his eye in a shootout with police in 1981.

He was a member of a notorious far-right group that bombed Bologna railway station killing 85 people in 1980.

–IANS/AKI

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