Vadala may get 11 years for drug smuggling

Italian court expected to rule in his case in September.

Antonino Vadala at the Košice court session on April 20, which decided on his extradition. Antonino Vadala at the Košice court session on April 20, which decided on his extradition. (Source: TASR)

The Italian businessman from eastern Slovakia with links to the ‘Ndrangheta, Antonino Vadala, could get 11 years in prison for his involvement in international business with drugs, reported the Italian website La Nuova Venezia e Mestre.

Read also:Customs officers: We spent three years at Vadala’s Read more 

Vadala has been in Italian prison since May 2018. Following the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak, who wrote his last, unfinished story about Vadala, there have been reports about the links between the Italian and high governmental officials.

Italian investigators monitored 452 phone calls between Vadala and Mária Trošková between 2014 and 2015. During that time she served as an assistant to then PM Robert Fico, the Sme daily reported.

Based on the only source of the local prosecutor, the Italian daily La Repubblica claimed based that Vadala had a phone call with Fico in 2012. Fico has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Short proceeding

State plaintiff Paola Tonini asked for 206 years of imprisonment total for the 18 people accused in the case of international trade with drugs. Vadala could get 11 years and four months, Sme wrote.

Related articleItalian journalist: Kuciak's work burned dirty money worth millions Read more 

The accused initiated a fast-tracked proceeding, Sme cited investigative journalist Maria Grazia Mazzola, from the Italian public service television RAI.

There are two reasons – one is they realise that there is strong evidence against them, and they are counting on receiving a punishment one-third shorter than under the normal proceeding. The full sentence for Vadala would be more than 16 years.

Pure cocaine

The verdict was expected to be delivered by the end of July. Mazzola, who observed the process, assumes that the obstructions of the attorney might have delayed the decision. She opined that the verdict could be handed down in September.

Read also:Police turn down a complaint concerning alleged calls between Fico and Vadala Read more 

Italian investigators claim that ‘Ndrangheta, with Vadala's involvement, smuggled in drugs from South America. They found out that it was very pure, 99-percent cocaine. So Italian investigators planted a police agent to infiltrate the group and Vadala.

Vadala boasted to the agent that he had smuggled drugs in fruits through Slovakia with the help of Slovak customs officers. The Slovak Financial Administration denied the information.

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