3 Dec 2009

US mafia figure walks free from court

6:04 am on 3 December 2009

The trial of John "Junior" Gotti on murder and racketeering charges ended in a mistrial on Tuesday, allowing the mob figure to elude conviction in his fourth racketeering trial in five years.

John A. Gotti, 45, escaped conviction on charges of ordering or taking part in the drug-related killings of two men in 1988 and 1991 and racketeering conspiracy that included murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion and drug dealing.

The judge declared a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a decision on any charge.

Mr Gotti, the son of late notorious Gambino crime family boss John J. Gotti, told reporters outside the courthouse he was blessed.

The two-month trial featured colorful testimony from former members of the Gambinos - one of New York's five organised crime families - dismissals of jurors and outbursts from Mr Gotti and members of his family.