Upon proxy of the acting District Public Prosecutor in Naples, we advise you of the following:
Today morning, the staff of the Direzione Investigativa Antimafia, an institution of the Department of Public Security, carried out a pre-trial arrest order, issued by the Office of the Preliminary Investigating Judge of the Court in Naples, upon request of the District Antimafia Directorate, against 18 persons seriously suspected, on different counts, of the offences: electoral exchange between politicians and mafia, attacks against citizens’ political rights, mafia-type association, corruption, external support to a mafia-type association, attempted extortion.
The preventive measure was issued also against the mayor of the township of Melito di Naples, the city council president and other two municipal councillors, the coordinator entrusted by the council of Melito for the company dealing with urban hygiene service, father of a municipal councillor, who in the past had already run as mayoral candidate in the elections held in October 2021.
The order is the outcome of investigations carried out by the DIA in Naples and coordinated by the D.D.A. based on the information gathered regarding the attempt of organized crime to influence mayoral election and the new city council in Melito di Naples.
The Investigating Magistrate (GIP) believed that there was serious evidence about the existence of an agreement already during the first round of voting, on 3 and 4 October 2021, between affiliates of a criminal organization operating in the area – clan Amato Pagano – and some representatives of the coalition supporting the mayoral candidate Marrone Nunzio (the latter was not suspected). Allegedly, the representatives had accepted the promise, made by the affiliates of the criminal organization, to retrieve the votes of clan affiliates, persons linked to the clan and the ones residing in the popular district who received pressures and intimidating acts, in return for a sum of money and other benefits so to satisfy the interests and the needs of the camorra association. The camorra criminal organization called clan Amato Pagano exploited the intimidating power of their association, and the resulting condition of submission and silence also to identify the candidates as municipal councillors linked to the clan. In this phase, the political rights of a female candidate to the municipal council were impaired, as she received serious threats – such as leaving her home or the closing of her shop – and was obliged to conduct an election campaign not for herself but for a candidate of the opposing coalition, who was close to the clan.
The investigation highlighted serious evidence about some representatives supporting the coalition of Mottola. Before the ballot, they had planned to agree with members of the clan to support their candidate. Already, in the first round, their intention was to request the support of the clan, but this project failed, because another agreement was achieved in favour of the opposing coalition headed by Marrone Nunzio. The members of the coalition supporting Mottola accepted the promise by the contact person of the Amato Pagano clan (who later on died on 23 January due to a camorra attack) to get the votes for the ballot of the clan members, the persons linked to the clan and the persons living in the popular district, exploiting the intimidating power of their association, in exchange of a sum of money or other benefits, such as workplaces or promises of a job.
Furthermore, during the investigation, some exchanges of votes were found relating to municipal councillors during the election in the second round for the bodies of the Metropolitan City, on 13 March 2022.
Serious evidence was also gathered on some extortions committed by clan members.
The order refers to a preliminary investigation, against this decision there is right of appeal, and the affected persons are presumed innocent until the final judgement.
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