Britain re-arrests fugitive former mafioso on Italian warrant
Domenico Rancadore has been tried in his absence and sentenced to seven years
Domenico Rancadore (right) covers his face as he leaves after an extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in central London last month. Photograph: Reuters
London police said today they had re-arrested a fugitive Sicilian mafioso who last month won a legal fight against extradition to Italy from Britain where he has been living under an alias for two decades.
Domenico Rancadore (65) has been tried in his absence by an Italian court and sentenced to seven years in an Italian jail for mafia-linked crimes between 1987 and 1995.
The Metropolitan Police said he was held last night at an address in Uxbridge, west London, under a new European arrest warrant issued by Italy, and would appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court later today.
In March, he avoided extradition after a British judge ruled that Italy’s prison overcrowding could breach his human rights.
The judge said he had intended to extradite Rancadore, nicknamed “U Profissuri” (The Professor) in Sicilian dialect, but was bound by another recent ruling about Italian prisons, made in a higher British court, and so had to discharge him.
Mr Rancadore came to Britain in 1994, cutting all contact with his family in Italy and establishing himself as “Marc Skinner” in Uxbridge, where he lived undetected for over 20 years with his wife and two children.
He is the son of Giuseppe Rancadore, former head of the mafia clan in Trabia near Palermo, Sicily’s capital, who is serving a life sentence in jail.
Once in Britain, he took his mother-in-law’s maiden name as his surname. The family home was in his wife’s name and he had no passport, national insurance number or work records.