Italy: Ex-Calabrian Councillor Jailed for ‘Ndrangheta Vote Buying Scheme
A former regional councillor in the southern Italian region of Calabria was sentenced to five years in prison for having dealt with an entrepreneur affiliated with the local ‘Ndranghetta Mafia, the Italian state media agency ANSA reported.
Gazzetta Del Sud reported.Francesco Talarico, who ran for office in 2018, allegedly negotiated with Antonio Gallo, an entrepreneur affiliated with the local ‘Ndrangheta clans, offering "in exchange for a substantial package of votes, to introduce Gallo in national political-institutional environments," his indictment read,
Talarico was acquitted of the charge of having mafia ties himself.
“Obviously I respect any decision, because it comes from the authority of the State. However, I remain disoriented, while it is excluded that I am part of a notorious business committee with a Mafia connotation, I am still found guilty of having reached an electoral agreement with an unspecified Mafia subject,” Talarico said after sentencing, according to Gazzetta Del Sud.
Talarico was among 20 others who were tried at the same time following an investigation conducted by Italy’s Antimafia Directorate and led by Chief Prosecutor Nicola Gratteri, who was tasked with leading the maxi-trial against 325 members of the ‘Ndrangheta currently underway.