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The World : Italy Opening Mafia Trial

February 10, 1986

The trial of 474 accused members of the Mafia will open today in Palermo, Sicily, under tight security in what is seen as the Italian government's biggest challenge to the criminal organization. It is said to be the first trial of its kind in which key Italian Mafia figures have agreed to turn state's evidence, breaking the traditional code of silence-- omerta . The accused Mafiosi, 119 of whom are still fugitives, face charges ranging from criminal association to drug trafficking, extortion and murder. The trial is expected to last a year.

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