Austrian father and son jailed for supplying guns to Italian mafia

The pair denied knowingly dealing with the mafia, insisting they had thought they were working with "vegetable traders".

Austrian father and son jailed for supplying guns to Italian mafia
Guns seized by Italian antimafia police. Photo: Nunzio Mari/AFP

An Austrian court on Tuesday slapped jail terms on a father and son for supplying hundreds of illegal weapons to mafiosi from Italy's feared Camorra.

A court in Klagenfurt, Austria, gave the men, aged 74 and 48, jail terms of 24 and 20 months respectively after they were found guilty of supplying some 820 hand guns and dozens of Kalashnikov assault rifles to the group since 2011.

When the trial started, the pair had denied knowingly dealing with the mafia, insisting they had thought they were working with “vegetable traders”.

The pair can still appeal the verdict.

A Naples prosecutor announced in March that Italy and Austria had busted an international arms trafficking ring that supplied the Camorra with guns, including “weapons of war”, to start a war with other clans.

The year-long Italian investigation led to the arrests of 22 people, including the Austrian gunsmiths and several Camorra couriers.

The Camorra is one of Italy's three main organised crime groups, along with Sicily's Cosa Nostra, commonly known as the mafia, and the 'Ndrangheta, centred in the Calabria region.

READ ALSO: 'New generation' of young Italian mafia heirs arrested


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Italy’s president calls for ‘full truth’ on anniversary of Bologna bombing

President Sergio Mattarella said on Tuesday it was the state's duty to shed more light on the 1980 bombing of Bologna's train station, on the 42nd anniversary of the attack that killed 85 people and injured 200.

Italy's president calls for 'full truth' on anniversary of Bologna bombing

On August 2nd 1980, a bomb exploded in the railway station’s waiting room, causing devastation on an unprecedented scale.

Five members of terrorist groups were later convicted in relation to the bombing, the worst episode in Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ period of political violence in the 1970s and 80s.

Most recently, in 2020, a former member of the far-right Armed Revolutionary Nucleus (NAR) was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to those who carried out the attack.

But suspicions remain of cover-ups and the involvement of “deviant elements” within the nation’s security services, reported Italian news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Bologna massacre: 40 years on, questions remain over Italy’s deadliest postwar terror attack

“The bomb that killed people who happened to be at the station on that morning 42 years ago still reverberates with violence in the depths of the country’s conscience,” Mattarella said in a speech marking the anniversary on Tuesday.

“It was the act of cowardly men of unequalled inhumanity, one of the most terrible of the history of the Italian Republic.

A train compartment at Bologna station pictured following the 1980 bombing attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari.

“It was a terrorist attack that sought to destabilise democratic institutions and sow fear, hitting ordinary citizens going about their everyday tasks.

“On the day of the anniversary our thoughts go, above all, to the relatives forced to suffer the greatest pain.

“The neo-fascist nature of the massacre has been established in court and further steps have been made to unveil the cover-ups and those who ordered the attack in order to comply with the Republic’s duty to seek the full truth”.

The bombing remains Western Europe’s fourth deadliest postwar terror attack, and one of the most devastating in Italy’s history.