December 4 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, August 22, 2013
A fugitive mafia boss who was arrested after being discovered living in a west London suburb is due back in court today.
Domenico Rancadore, 64, is wanted in Italy to serve a seven year jail term for his role as ‘a man of honour’ in Cosa Nostra, collecting bribes from builders in Trabia near Palermo.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told earlier this month he was a leader in a murderous gang who ‘spread terror in Sicily’.
He was denied bail on the grounds that he has evaded capture since coming to the UK 20 years ago by living under a false name.
Prosecutor Benjamin Seifert said: “The information says that Mr Rancadore was one of the heads of an armed criminal organisation known as Cosa Nostra which is said to be one of the most powerful Mafia organisations in Italy, made up of thousands of members spreading terror in Sicily by imposing its rules and controlling the area and systematically murdering anybody who did not comply with the will of the members of the organisation.”
Rancadore was convicted of mafia links in Italy in his absence after he had come to live in the UK with his family in 1993, and lived in Uxbridge with his travel agent wife.
Italian prosecutors claim that he received around £3,500 in bribe money, and Mr Seifert said he had ‘ensured strict compliance with the rules of the organisation’.
He was found guilty of being part of the gang between December 1987 and April 1995.
Despite offering a surety of £10,000 and the assurance that he would be placed under ‘constant scrutiny’ by police if released, Rancadore’s application for bail was denied.
The court heard that he was acquitted of previous Mafia charges in 1993 after spending months in custody and more than two years under house arrest.