Sicilian mafioso to be extradited to Italy after 22 years in Britain

Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:53am EST
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By Sam Wilkin

LONDON (Reuters) - A convicted Sicilian mafioso who spent two decades living incognito in Britain will be extradited to Italy after a court on Friday overturned a previous ruling that prison overcrowding there could breach his human rights.

Domenico Rancadore, 65, faces seven years in jail in Italy after senior district judge Howard Riddle ruled in favor of extradition at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Rancadore, a former teacher nicknamed "U Profissuri" (The Professor) in Sicilian dialect, had been arguing since his arrest that conditions in Italian prisons were so bad that they would breach his human rights.

But Riddle said in his judgment: "I am satisfied your ... rights will not be breached by your extradition to Italy."

Rancadore, wearing a grey suit and striped tie, shook his head slowly and looked down as the judgment was delivered while his wife sobbed in the public gallery.

Rancadore had left Italy with his British wife and two children in 1993 and established a new life under the name "Marc Skinner" in a modest house in Uxbridge, west London.

He was sentenced in his absence in Italy for his membership of Sicily's Cosa Nostra from 1987 to 1995, and is on Italy's list of most wanted criminals.

He was discovered and arrested in August 2013 and faced an extradition hearing in March 2014, but a previous ruling by Britain's High Court that overcrowding in Italian prisons could be a breach of his human rights meant that he could not be extradited.   Continued...

Domenico Rancadore (L) arrives for an extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court in central London February 20, 2015. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls