Of fourteen NBM members arrested in Italy…. Twelve are facing possible release from Italian prison due to the covid-19 emergency. Rules regarding pre-trial detention dictate that (in the likely event) no trial will take place before 21st May they will be released.
(Translated by Google)
Twelve people, already sentenced at first instance on charges of belonging to a clan of the Nigerian mafia in Palermo, risk being released from prison. For the judges of the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Palermo, the stop of the hearings ordered for the coronavirus emergency should also have extended the terms of pre-trial detention . But according to the Review, the emergency caused by Covid-19 does not justify further slips for those in prison. The deadline is set for May 21, two years after the first instance sentence: according to the Court, it was possible to postpone for a month and a half, taking advantage of the suspension, but for the Review it is not possible to suspend the terms.
Twelve alleged bosses arrested in November 2015 in one of the first blitzes of the Palermo DDA and of the Nigerian cult mobile squad are aiming for release: the Black Ax , rooted in the historic district of Ballarò . On May 21, 2018 they were sentenced with the abbreviated rite and now they could return to freedom. On Monday, in fact, the Court will have to decide whether or not to listen to three collaborators of justice indicated by the Prosecutor General, further lengthening the procedural times. The terms expire on May 21st.
The request was presented on March 5 by pm Gaspare Spedale (owner of the original investigation, recently also applied in the appeal) and concerns the hearing of Edos Aghamioghogho (brother of one of the defendants), Francesco Lombardo and Emanuele Cecala or alternatively to acquire the minutes of the interrogations already carried out with the prosecutors. On 30 March, the Court decided to suspend the terms of custody, referring to the period of suspension of judicial activity , initially between 9 March and 15 April, and then extended until 11 May. Decision now canceled by the Review chaired by Judge Antonia Pappalardo, who expressed himself on the appeal lodged by the defender of Evans Osaymwen, sentenced to 4 years and eight months at first instance.
“We contested this decision from the start,” says lawyer Cinzia Pecoraro , defender of one of the defendants, who has yet to conduct his defensive harangue. At the end of 2019, the Court acquitted five people (one convicted of sexual violence ) arrested in the same blitz of 2015 and tried with the ordinary rite: on that occasion, the harassment of the lawyer Pecoraro lasted fourteen hours, divided into two hearings. “On Monday the Court will have to express itself only on the request of the pg and if it were decided to listen to the three collaborators the times would become really long – continues the lawyer – but even without their examination I do not think it is possible to make defensive arguments of several hours wearing the masks, I think we should also postpone for such activities “. “Surely that of release was a feared risk well before the coronavirus emergency,” says lawyer Antonio Bertei, a defendant sentenced to 6 years, instead. In the trial, in addition to the twelve at risk of release, a woman who has already served the sentence and the first repentant of the Nigerian mafia, namely Austine Johnbull , already sentenced definitively in another procedure, are also charged . In these days the Prosecutor General is considering whether or not to withdraw the request for the hearing of the three collaborators and the Court could decide to set close hearings to circumvent the risk of release.