A Turin court on Saturday convicted 130 people, including two judges, of belonging to a Mafia group that committed crimes throughout Italy, the news agency ANSA reported.
It said 26 defendants were given life sentences in the trial of the "Clan of Catanesi," and clan members were blamed for 61 slayings, four kidnappings and hundreds of robberies. ANSA said the others convicted received sentences ranging from a few months to 30 years.Sixty-eight people were acquitted at the end of the 19-month-long trial.
The "Clan of Catanesi" was based in the eastern Sicily city of Catania but expanded its operations nationwide beginning in 1979 with the establishment of bases in the northern cities of Milan and Turin, according to trial testimony quoted by ANSA. "Catanesi" is the word for residents of Catania.
Most of the killings attributed to the group were linked to drug trafficking.
Among those convicted Saturday were two magistrates: Pietro Perracchio, the former president of the Catania Court of Assizes who was sentenced to two years and six months in prison, and Aldo Rocco Vitale, the former president of the Catania Court of Appeals, sentenced to two years and eight months.
The judges of the Turin Court of Assizes issued the verdicts after 23 days of deliberation. During the trial, seven relatives of informants were killed, ANSA reported.
As the verdicts were read, dozens of police patrolled the area outside the courthouse and a police helicopter circled overhead.