Extradition of 'wrong man' halted

By John Aston
Sunday 23 October 2011 07:08

Italian authorities have abandoned an attempt to extradite an alleged murderer from Britain after admitting they had "got the wrong man".

Edmond Arapi, who has three children, 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.

Yesterday Mr Arapi went to the High Court in London to fight against extradition. The 29-year-old Albanian chef, who lives in Leek, Staffordshire, knew nothing about the trial and said he had an alibi.

Lawyers for the Italian government said they were withdrawing the extradition request after conceding that Mr Arapi was the victim of stolen identity. Mr Arapi said he would be celebrating the end of his "nightmare" ordeal.

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.