Mafia fugitive wins extradition battle

Mafia fugitive Domenico Rancadore has won his battle against extradition back to Italy at Westminster Magistrates Court today.

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Florence ruling 'forced judge to release Mafia boss'

A court sketch of Domenico Rancadore Credit: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

A judge has said his decision to allow Mafia boss Domenico Rancadore to walk free in Britain was made because of a similar ruling in Italy.

In an original draft of his decision, Mr Riddle said he included that he was satisfied the European Arrest Warrant was valid.

However, the judge said he was forced to reverse his decision following the ruling in a similar case involving the Court of Florence and Hayle Abdi Badre.

Mr Riddle said: "The judgment of the administrative court is binding on me [...] I cannot distinguish this case from Badre."

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Mafia boss evaded Italian authorities for 20 years

Domenico Rancadore, known as The Professor, was arrested after evading Italian authorities for 20 years.

The former Mafia fugitive was accused of fleeing Italy as he faced trial over his alleged role as a "man of honour" in the Cosa Nostra group.

He was convicted in 1999 of Mafia association and extortion in Trabia, near Palermo, and is wanted to serve a seven-year jail sentence.

The decision by senior district judge Howard Ribble to allow Mr Rancadore to walk free marks a dramatic turnaround, as the same judge had previously agreed to extradite him.

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Factfile: Domenico Rancadore

Domenico Rancadore was arrested in London in August last year on a European arrest warrant after evading the Italian authorities for 20 years over Mafia connections.

This is what is known about him:

  • 64 years old
  • Went on the run in 1994
  • Lived in west London under false name Marc Skinner, and is married to an English woman
  • Sentenced to seven years in prison in Italy for Mafia connections
  • Believed to have been chief of Sicily's Trabia region for the notorious Cosa Nostra mafia group
  1. National

Lawyer: Mafia boss has 'led blame-free existence'

Domenico Rancadore has a serious heart condition which would have made prison "very difficult for him", his solicitor says Credit: Reuters

Mafia fugitive Domenico Rancadore has been "misrepresented by the press", his solicitor said following his victory in a battle against extradition.

In a statement, Karen Totner said: "He made a deliberate decision 20 years ago to walk away from the Mafia and all that is associated with it.

"He has led a blame-free existence in the United Kingdom where he has resided peacefully with his wife and family."

She added: "I suspect that this case is not yet over but I hope that this judgment is an indication of a successful final outcome."

Speaking outside court, Ms Totner added that Mr Rancadore has a "serious heart condition so being in prison is very difficult for him".

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Rancadore on run from authorities for 20 years

Domenico Rancadore was on the run from Italian authorities for almost two decades Credit: .

Mr Rancadore, known as The Professor, was arrested after evading Italian authorities for 20 years.

They accused him of fleeing Italy as he faced trial over his alleged Cosa Nostra "man of honour" connections.

Senior District Judge Howard Riddle discharged Mr Rancadore at Westminster Magistrates' Court today.

Mr Rancadore was convicted in 1999 of Mafia association and extortion in Trabia, near Palermo, and is wanted to serve a seven-year jail sentence.

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