Italy Slicing Up the Beast

Anti-Mafia fervor runs high as the "monster trial" begins

It was one of the most impressive parades of criminality ever seen in Italy. At 8 a.m. nearly 100 men in hand cuffs and chains were marched through the 150-ft. tunnel connecting Palermo's L'Ucciardone prison to a new highsecurity courtroom built on the prison grounds. Inside, the fan-shaped, green-and-white room, the defendants were herded into 30 cages at the rear. At 9:45 a.m., a bell rang, and Presiding Judge Alfonso Giordano entered in black robes to take his seat beneath a tall Crucifix. As a nationwide radio audience listened raptly, Announcer Carla Mosca intoned, "At this moment, the trial has begun."

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