Fears of torture for Italian gangster
Wednesday 17 October 2007
A convicted Mafia gangster will not be extradited from the United States to Italy after a Californian judge ruled that his confinement in Europe would amount to "torture".
Judge Sitgraves said Rosario Gambino, who has just completed a 22-year jail term in the US for drug-running, would be inhumanely treated by the Italian "41 bis" system, which isolates Mafiosi while they are serving prison sentences. "This coercion," the judge wrote, "is not related to any lawfully imposed sanction or punishment, and thus constitutes torture." Gambino's lawyer, P Joseph Sandoval, said the judge was "100 per cent correct... It's a humanitarian issue. The prison conditions in his specific case will be life-threatening and life-shortening."
The ruling was criticised by Italian media, which reacted poorly to being reprimanded on humanitarianism by an American judge. Guantanamo Bay and the CIA kidnap in Milan of a suspected Islamic terrorist were both mentioned.
Clemente Mastella, Italy's Justice Minister, defended the "41 bis" system – laws drawn up in 1993 after the assassination of the anti-Mafia investigators Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino – saying it had been passed by the Italian parliament.
The system was designed to prevent convicted Mafiosi from continuing to run their gangs from inside jail. It limits their access to other prisoners, to their family, to mail and the telephone. It can also involve long spells of solitary confinement, and has been credited by prosecutors with helping to persuade convicts to turn supergrass.
Ann Hathaway, a Lancashire woman married to a Sicilian Mafioso, was held under the system before she was returned to Britain last year. "In England, prison was like being in a hotel," she said at the time.
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Mia Khalifa: Pornhub star claims Drake sent her 'cringeworthy' naked photos on Instagram
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Putin opponent reveals Russian President's daughter's secret identity
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...