Italian fugitive contesting extradition to Italy
An Italian fugitive, wanted by the Italian authorities to serve a two-year and 27-day sentence in Italy over drug trafficking, is contesting extradition, the Court heard yesterday.
Fabio Vespa, a 32-year-old from Catania, and residing in Naxxar, appeared in court after he was held by the local police when he went to report damages to his vehicle. Inspector Mario Cuschieri presented the European Arrest Warrant as well as the alert from the Schengen information system.
Last January, Mr Vespa had a two-year prison sentence confirmed by the Italian Court of Appeal, for being in possession of cannabis, importation of hemp as well as other charges.
The defence argued that the accused’s wife lived in Malta and that he came to help her after she had suffered a miscarriage.
Defending the accused, Dr Michael Sciriha argued that Mr Vespa is currently on parole in Malta. The defence said that Mr Vespa should finish his parole first before being extradited, and since the Court said that this hearing was just to establish whether the accused would be contesting the arrest warrant, and whether the accused would request bail, the defence is both contesting the warrant and requesting bail.
The inspector argued against the granting of bail, saying that the accused had already committed a crime in Malta, and that he escaped from Italy.
The defence argued that he should be allowed out on bail to continue his parole, and that Malta was his safe-haven from Italy and thus he would not have a reason to escape.
The prosecution, however, said that there was a risk, as he could attempt to escape from Malta as he had done from Italy.
Magistrate Gabriella Vella denied bail at this stage.