A father of three facing extradition from the UK over a murder committed in Italy when he claims he was not in the country appealed to the British and Italian authorities today to "end this horror and allow me to carry on my life in peace".
Edmond Arapi, a chef from Leek, Staffordshire, was convicted by an Italian court in his absence in 2006 and sentenced to 16 years in jail for the murder of Castillo Marcello, who was stabbed to death in Genoa in October 2004.
Fair Trials International, which is supporting Mr Arapi's fight against extradition, said the 29-year-old Albanian did not leave the UK between 2000-2006 and was working at a Staffordshire cafe on the day of the killing.
Chief executive Jago Russell said: "The ordeal the Arapi family are going through has to be anyone's worst nightmare.
"Edmond had no idea he was being tried for murder in Italy and had no chance to prove that he wasn't even in Italy when the crime was committed.
"If extradited, Edmond will leave behind a wife, a newborn baby and his two young daughters and could spend years in a foreign jail."
Mr Arapi said: "The injustice of this case speaks for itself.
"It can be proved 100% that I was at work in England on the day this crime took place in Italy.
"I haven't left my wife's side since our baby was born and it would be devastating for me and for my family if I am torn from them and imprisoned in Italy, a country I barely know, for something I could not have done.
"We are pleading with the British and Italian authorities to end this horror and allow me to carry on my life in peace."
Mr Arapi was arrested at Gatwick Airport on a European Arrest Warrant in June last year, as he returned from a month-long holiday in Albania with his wife Georgina.
The couple, who married in 2006, have two daughters aged three and seven, and a week-old son.
Mr Arapi's extradition was ordered in March by a district judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court. He is currently on bail, awaiting an appeal hearing at the High Court in June.
Fair Trials International said the evidence used in the Italian trial was "consistent with mistaken identity".
A spokeswoman said: "There was no forensic evidence presented at the trial, it was all hearsay."
A CPS spokesman said: "A district judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court ruled in March that there were no bars to extradition in this case.
"Mr Arapi had seven days in which to appeal. An appeal was lodged and a hearing is due to take place at the High Court on June 15."Reuse content