Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Unsavory Knox & Sollecito Chums Are Taking Quite A Beating

Posted by Peter Quennell

Fine Australian report praised by Italian viewers (scroll down)

1. Italian Developments

The video report on a mass trial in southern Italy could be good news.

That is if there is to be more exposure of the nefariousness in Meredith’s case. And of how way too much of the American media and the political administrations were led around by the nose, by these guys intent on taking Italian justice down a peg.

Not that Italian media have been exactly shy though. Few in Italy believe all was above board - in the selection of Judge Hellman and his “independent” consultants, in the final sentence issued in 2015 by the Supreme Court, and in Knox’s “not guilty” verdict in the Florence calunnia trial.

Everybody knows of the Sollecito family’s blood ties in the deep south and in Canada, though those have mostly dwindled since the assassination of Canadian mafia kingpin Uncle Rocco in Montreal in 2016.

Calabria is in the deep south of Italy, across the Strait of Messina from Sicily. Several thousand years ago, those were among the wealthiest areas in the world. Agriculture flourished back then, and the south was a major waypoint for cargo traffic making its was along the Mediterranean.

The remorseless decline of the deep south was first set in motion by climate change, and by piracy from bases in countries further to the east. Lawless gangs emerged after the 19th century uprisings against royalty.

The mafia big three families have long been considered Cosa Nostra (Sicily), Camorra (Naples) and Ndrangheta (Calabria). All three had connections with Meredith’s case.

The Ndrangheta was infiltrating the Perugia area around the time that Meredith died. Knox’s and Sollecito’s lead lawyers had represented mafia previously. Appeal judge Hellman was assigned in suspect circumstances. Sollecito was suspected of seeking help from the Canadian arm of the Ndrangheta. Both of the lead Supreme Court judges were from Naples and subjects of whispers. The judge in Knox’s second calunnia trial was transferred to Florence from the Ndrangheta area due to suspect friendships. A pro-prosecution witness had been a Camorra member. Perugia prosecutors and judges sometimes have a role in mafia cases. Perugia saw a mafia mass-arrest. One of the lead investigators transferred to Rome to head anti-mafia investigations.   

Sicily’s Cosa Nostra was mostly responsible for the assassination of over 100 judges, prosecutors and others in law enforcement through the 1990s, at which time the kingpin was put away and the first several of various mass trials put away additional hundreds. It then faded, and the Ndrangheta mushroomed.

The current Ndrangheta mass trial in western Calabria is of the Mancuso clan, the west-coast segment of the Ndrangheta, which because of a seaport built in the 1990s is definitely the most significant. The trial will conclude in a few months - many took the short-form trial (in effect they pleaded guilty) but over 300 didn’t. 

Does this suggest the last of the big Italian mafia families is finally on the ropes and of diminishing significance? Maybe; maybe not. As the Australian video explains, for many in the area, the Ndrangheta remains more poplar than the government, because they make sure to provide more services.

But certainly by global standards they are not such big-fry. Russian, Japanese and Mexican crime families are estimated to be larger, both in membership and turnover. But the Ndrangheta is still big in European cocaine, and has bought a collection of conventional businesses.

Italian law enforcement has developed a number of admired and emulated techniques to diminish their crime families. One is to isolate members from one another and from other prisoners, in prison conditions that by Italian standards are quite nasty.

Even at the peaks of these crime families, reported crime rates in Italy, murder or otherwise, have steadily remained below 1/5 of the American rates. Italian law enforcement is brave, and their systems are good models.

2. Canadian Developments

Mobster Dominico Scarfo has been on trial for the shooting of Rocco Sollecito at a traffic light in Montreal in May 2016, and for a related killing.

Rocco Sollecito had been the de facto head of the Rizutto crime family, which was very closely associated with the Italian Ndrangheta. Raffaele Sollecito met with him several times in 2012 and 2014 in a mob-controlled town at the east end of the Dominican Republic island.

Scarfo was found guilty of both killings in April. This is a report on the trial outcome from the Montreal Gazette.

The jury also found Scarfo, 49, guilty of conspiring to kill both men.

The trial began in late January, and the jury deliberated for 19 days — one of the longest deliberations in Canadian history — before reaching unanimous decisions on all four charges. The record for the longest deliberation is 28 days.

“In the name of us all, and in the name of the community you served as judges, I want to thank you for your services. All good things must have an end though,” Superior Court Justice Michel Pennou told the 10 jurors who remained on the panel at the trial’s end.

The prosecution faced an uphill battle as its key witness, an informant, initially refused to testify when he was first called to the stand in February.

“No. I won’t be answering any questions,” the informant told prosecutor Isabelle Poulin after she asked her first question.

“F—ing me over is f—ing everybody over. It ain’t happening,” the informant said back in February while complaining that his contract with the Sûreté du Québec was not being respected.

He eventually settled down and testified at length, despite several outbursts throughout.

With the first-degree murder verdicts, Scarfo automatically received a life sentence with a period of parole ineligibility fixed at 25 years. Pennou said he will hear sentencing arguments on the conspiracy charges at a later date….

Scarfo is said to have collaborated with, among others in the Canadian mob, a “deceased crime boss”.

Hmmm…  Rocco Sollecito’s predecessor Nicolo Rizutto was gunned down in his house by a long-distance sniper.

Rocco has been widely presumed to have been behind that, and although said to have been a guy quite easy to get along with, some in the mob may have remained loyal to the previous boss.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/05/22 at 08:08 PM in

Tweet This Post


Comments

No comments yet. No comments yet. No comments yet. No comments yet. No comments yet. No comments yet.

Where next:

Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page