updated 8/30/2007 8:49:40 PM ET 2007-08-31T00:49:40

The city’s biggest mob trial in years went to the jury Thursday after prosecutors made a last pitch to sway jurors to believe the testimony of their star witness, an admitted hit man.

Jurors are scheduled to return Tuesday to begin their deliberations after the Labor Day weekend.

Prosecutors used the final two hours of the rebuttal portion of their closing arguments to try to undo defense arguments that attacked the credibility of Nicholas Calabrese, the government’s star witness.

Calabrese, whose brother is one of the men on trial, agreed to blab mob secrets to avoid the death penalty after his DNA was matched to blood on a glove at a 1986 murder scene.

He has admitted to taking part in about a dozen of the killings in the indictment.

The five men on trial are accused in a racketeering conspiracy that allegedly includes 18 long-unsolved murders, illegal gambling, loan sharking and extortion tied to the Outfit, as Chicago’s organized crime family is known.

They are reputed mobster Joseph “Joey the Clown” Lombardo, 78, convicted jewel thief Paul Schiro, 70, reputed mob boss James Marcello, 65, retired Chicago policeman Anthony Doyle, 62, and convicted loan shark Frank Calabrese Sr.

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