Three judges overseeing Italy’s mega-mafia trial ask to be recused on the first day as 350 ‘Ndrangheta mob suspects prepare to face justice

Three judges assigned to oversee Italy’s largest mafia trial in more than 30 years today asked to be recused on the first day – as hundreds of alleged members of the ‘Ndrangheta mob prepared to face justice.

The trial, which is expected to take at least a year to complete, will involve 355 defendants, 400 lawyers and 900 witnesses alleging crimes from murder, drug trafficking and extortion, to money laundering and abuse of office.

Among the accused are suspected Mafia boss Luigi Mancuso, known as ‘The Uncle’, and his alleged accomplices who have a host of nicknames including ‘The Wolf’, ‘Fatty’, ‘Sweetie’, ‘Blondie’, ‘Little Goat’ and ‘The Wringer’.

However, the initial hearing hit an immediate snag today after the three judges assigned to the case asked to be recused, saying they had been involved in earlier aspects of the investigation.

Their request will be reviewed by a separate court, which will delay proceedings for several days, lawyers said.