From file: Mimmo Lucano during the presentation of a book in Naples | Photo: Cesare Abbate / Archive / ANSA
From file: Mimmo Lucano during the presentation of a book in Naples | Photo: Cesare Abbate / Archive / ANSA

An appeals court in the southern city of Reggio Calabria will review admissible evidence in a trial against the former mayor of Riace, a small town known as a model of integration for its management of migrant hosting projects.

A turning point has been reported in the judicial case concerning Domenico 'Mimmo' Lucano, the former mayor of the southern Calabrian town of Riace known, and celebrated, globally for his migrant-hosting and integration policies.

An appeals court in Reggio Calabria on Wednesday (July 6) ordered the reopening of a debate on admissible evidence in the so-called 'Xenia' trial against the 64-year-old former mayor who is accused of a series of charges connected to his management of migrants in the town in the Locride area.

In September 2021, Lucano was sentenced by a court of first instance in Locri to 13 years and two months in jail. The prosecutor had requested seven years and 11 months.

Trial to resume on October 26

The reopening of a debate on admissible evidence has been ordered by a panel of judges chaired by Giancarlo Bianchi, with the favorable opinion of prosecutors Adriana Fimiani and Antonio Giuttari, at the request of Lucano's defense lawyers Giuliano Pisapia and Andrea Daqua.

The former mayor of Riace is charged with criminal association, fraud, graft, embezzlement, bid rigging, false statements and aiding and abetting migration.

An additional 17 people are standing trial with Lucano, on different charges, following an investigation by Locri prosecutors and finance police that led to the house arrest of Lucano in October 2018.

The appeals court also admitted as evidence in the trial a report drafted by defense expert Antonio Milicia based on transcripts of five wiretapped conversations, with the favorable opinion of the prosecution.

The trial is due to resume on October 26, when the appeals judges will also have to rule on potential new requests by Lucano's defense team. At that time, prosecutors Fimiani and Giuttari are also scheduled to deliver their final requests to the court.

 

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