Mafia, Operation Hermes 3: Prosecutor asks for 76 years in prison for 6 defendants

Seventy-six years of prison were requested by the prosecutor of the Anti-Mafia District Directorate of Palermo Gianluca De Leo for the six defendants, almost all of them from Castelvetrano (Tp), in the trial currently taking place before the Court of Marsala, stemming from the anti-Mafia operation Ermes 3 of June 20, 2020 (two people arrested and 13 reported), which targeted alleged associates and supporters of the then fugitive boss Matteo Messina Denaro.

The harshest sentence, 18 years of imprisonment, was requested for Giovanni Onofrio Beltrallo, 57 years old, 17 years for Leonarda Furnari, 40 years old, and 16 years for Melchiorre Vivona, 67 years old. These are the other requests of the prosecutor: 12 years in prison and a fine of 8,000 euros for Antonino Stella, 77 years old from Marsala, 10 years and a fine of 7,500 euros for the 62-year-old Mafia boss from Castelvetrano Vincenzo La Cascia and 3 years for the 54-year-old Domenico Salvatore Zerilli. The crimes contested by the Dda include mafia association, extortion, weapons possession, and aiding and abetting the fugitive Denaro, who was initially one of the defendants in the trial. During the police operation carried out four years ago, the house of the former fugitive’s mother in Castelvetrano was searched.

The other defendants opted for the abbreviated trial and their trial saw a ruling from the Cassation Court a month ago. The second section of the Supreme Court, accepting the defense’s requests, annulled four of the six convictions handed down on April 5, 2023, by the fourth section of the Court of Appeal of Palermo. Two of the four convictions were annulled and referred to a different section of the Court of Appeal of Palermo for the reassessment of the sentence.

The defense argued that the affiliation to Cosa Nostra of Marco Manzo, 59 years old from Campobello di Mazara (Tp), sentenced to 9 years in prison, and Giuseppe Calcagno, 49 years old born in Marsala but resident in Campobello di Mazara, sentenced to 6 years and 8 months, dates back to the years before 2015, when, in June, the law was tightened on the penalties for the crime of Mafia-style criminal association. Manzo and Calcagno were the only ones arrested in operation Ermes 3.

Mafia, Operazione Ermes 3, il pm del tribunale chiede 76 anni di carcere per 6 imputati

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