Milan

Calabrian ex-magistrate sentenced for 'Ndrangheta links

Giglio given four years and seven months by Milan court

Calabrian ex-magistrate sentenced for 'Ndrangheta links

Milan, February 6 - A Milan court on Wednesday sentenced ex-magistrate Vincenzo Giuseppe Giglio to four years and seven months in jail for collusion with the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta mafia clan of Valle-Lampada. An eight-year, four-month prison sentence was given to a Calabrian politician accused of assisting the mafia, Franco Morelli, a former regional councillor for Calabria. Giglio, head of the crime prevention department of the Reggio Calabria court, was arrested November 2011 on suspicion of tipping off 'Ndrangheta members about police activity. Councillor Morelli, a member of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, was arrested in the Calabrian town of Palmi. Police said Morelli, head of the regional budget committee, was "the link between ('Ndrangheta) clans and national political circles". In July 2010 a massive police operation in Lombardy and Calabria caught 'Ndrangheta's No.1, the equivalent of Cosa Nostra's 'boss of bosses', Domenico Oppedisano, 80, as well as its chief in Lombardy, Pino Neri. A total of 304 'Ndrangheta operatives were arrested. The operation, which involved 3,000 police officers, revealed that the Calabrians, already known to be more closely knit and impenetrable than Cosa Nostra, had a hierarchy similar to that of the Sicilian Mafia. Police said the Calabrian mafia had replicated their operational units or 'drine' in northern Italy and abroad. 'Ndrangheta is now the most powerful mafia in Italy thanks to its hold on the European cocaine trade. 'Ndrangheta, whose name means 'virtue' or 'heroism' in a local form of ancient Greek, once dealt mainly in kidnappings and extortion and fed off the pickings of public tenders, living in the shadow of its Sicilian cousin. But it has since expanded to northern Italy, northern Europe and other countries, where it invests its huge drugs profits.

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