Former Juventus and Italy striker Vincenzo Iaquinta has been sentenced to two years in prison as part of a mafia trial.
The 2006 World Cup winner was indicted in December 2015 for illegal possession of firearms, as well intention to aid the ‘Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia.
In May the prosecutor requested that he be jailed for six years, with his father to be sent down for 19 years.
Over 140 people were put on trial in one of northern Italy’s most high-profile mafia trials, suspected of helping the ‘Ndrangheta to infiltrate the north of the country.
Today Iaquinta was sentenced to two years in prison, having been found guilty of illegal possession of firearms, but cleared of intent to aid the mafia.
His father, Giuseppe, was found guilty of mafia association and has been sentenced to 19 years.
The former striker was found guilty of an offence relating to a Smith & Wesson 357 magnum caliber revolver, a 7.65 Browning Kelt-tec gun and 126 bullets.
Iaquinta had claimed that the guns had been kept in his home, but they were then handed over to his father, who had been banned from possessing firearms since 2012 due to his association with people linked to the ‘Ndrangheta.
During his time at Udinese, just before he moved to Juve, he passed the guns over to his father without informing law enforcement.
While Giuseppe Iaquinta wasn't at that time banned from possessing the weapons, the transfer should have been declared.
“I am a famous person,” Iaquinta Jr explained at his trial in May.
“I bought the guns for the future more than anything else, when I’d stopped playing. I liked to go to the shooting range when I was at home.”
Sentences for the 148 defendants were handed down after two weeks of deliberation.
Under Italian law Iaquinta will not be considered guilty until he has exhausted all levels of appeal, so he won’t be imprisoned immediately for a minor sentence.
His father is likely to be kept in custody, or at least under house arrest, for the more serious crime of mafia association.
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