|Catanzaro/ Italy |  Trial of the 114

Born:  December 1967 - Catanzaro, Italy

Dead:  December 22, 1968

The trial of the 114, so called because there were 114 defendants, took place in Catanzaro on the Italian mainland, partly due to there being no facilities for such a large trial in Sicily and also in the hope of minimizing intimidation of witnesses. Anti-Mafia judge Cesare Terranova signed the order to send the men to trial in 1965, ruling that they crimes and those accused of carrying them out were all linked and should be tried as an organized body. The defendants were accused of crimes relating to the First Mafia War, the charges including multiple murder, kidnapping, tobacco smuggling, theft, "public massacre" (the Ciaculli bombing) and Organized Delinquency.

Amongst those on trial were the heads of the opposing factions in the Mafia War, Salvatore Greco and Angelo La Barbera, as well as the man who had actually triggered the war by framing La Barbera, Michele Cavataio. Also there were Giuseppe Calo and Luciano Leggio. The trial opened in December 1967 and lasted until December 22, 1968. It resulted in a mere ten convictions, with several of those being just for Organized Delinquency. This only carried a sentence of a few years, and most of those convicted of it were released instantly thanks to time already served.

The longest sentence was handed to Angelo La Barbera, who was given twenty-two-years for ordering the kidnap and murder of two rival mobsters who had vanished in 1963 after they were seen being bundled off the streets; someone who witnessed the kidnapping testified for the prosecution despite death threats, one of the few witnesses to do so. Tommaso Buscetta was given a thirteen-year sentence for kidnapping the men but his conviction was in absentia because he was not present at the trial. He had fled Sicily after the Ciaculli Massacre to avoid the inevitable crackdown. Buscetta was captured in Brazil in 1973 and sent back to Sicily to serve his sentence. Salvatore Greco was also convicted in absentia. No-one was found guilty of the Ciaculli Massacre. Amongst the 104 defendants acquitted was Luciano Leggio. It is not known for certain what role - if any - he played in the First Mafia War, although he spent a lot of time in Palermo in the early 1960s and was apparently friends with Salvatore Greco.

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