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17 cleared in Piedmont 'Ndrangheta case

Ex-city councillor also absolved

08 October, 18:19
17 cleared in Piedmont 'Ndrangheta case (ANSA) - Turin, October 8 - Seventeen suspects who faced trial in a mafia scandal in southern Piedmont were absolved on Monday. Turin Judge Massimo Scarabello cleared their names, finding "the crime does not exist".

The case involved the presumed infiltration of the southern Italian organized crime group 'Ndrangheta into a northern Italian area near Turin.

Only one of the accused - Bruno Pronesti' - was convicted of one of the charges facing him. Ponesti' was sentenced to one-and-a-half years in prison for illegal gun possession. The seventeen who stood trial were among a group of roughly 20 arrested by a special operations unit of state police in a round-up called Operation Albachiara, including Alessandria City Councillor Giuseppe Caridi, a member of former premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom party, who then resigned. Caridi was among those completely cleared of charges.

The arrests were made by the Carabinieri ROS, a unit of the state police specialized in mafia and terrorism investigations. 'Ndrangheta, Italy's richest mafia, has spread from its base in Calabria to northern Italy and several other countries including