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Judge to rule on Mafia boss bail
Domenico Rancadore's wife Anne and daughter Daniela Skinner arrive home after Rancadore was arrested by police at his house in Uxbridge
A wanted Mafia boss found living in suburbia could walk free over legal problems with the warrant for his arrest.
Domenico Rancadore, 64, who is wanted by the Italian authorities, was arrested by British police at his home in Uxbridge, west London, on Wednesday under a European Arrest Warrant.
The father-of-two had been living in the UK as a house husband under the alias Marc Skinner since 1993 while his wife, Anne, ran a travel agency to support the family. He is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court, where District Judge Quentin Purdy will decide whether he can be allowed bail.
During a short appearance at the same court on Thursday, the judge said: "The warrant may be such it has to be discharged. There are concerns about the validity of the warrant that has come before the court."
Former teacher Rancadore is facing a seven-year term in an Italian jail for being part of a criminal organisation between 1987 and 1995. He was "a man of honour" in Mafia group Cosa Nostra, controlling Trabia, near Palermo in Sicily, the court heard.
He tried to flee through the back door of his home in Manor Waye when police arrived on Wednesday, but came face to face with a waiting detective constable. He initially gave police his false name - Skinner is his wife's maiden name - but eventually came clean.
The court heard that Rancadore has a heart condition and was taken to hospital by police when he began suffering chest pains.
The former teacher, whose wife and daughter were in court, came to the UK in 1993, after being acquitted at the end of a three-year court case linked to Mafia allegations.
Defending, Euan Macmillan said he has lived "a blameless life" in Britain. "He has been in this country since 1993, so 20 years. He came here as a free man on his own Italian passport with his family. He has led a blameless life in this country for the past 20 years. He has lived a quiet life and his family have grown up here. He was as surprised as one would be, understandably, when the police arrived at his property."
The European Arrest Warrant was issued by Italy in January last year but Mr Macmillan said: "He has done nothing to evade detection, he has simply been living his life."