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Fugitive Mafia boss could be bailed
Domenico Rancadore's wife Anne and daughter Daniela Skinner arrive home after Rancadore was arrested by police at his house in Uxbridge
A fugitive Mafia boss who has been hiding in suburbia for 20 years could be released on bail amid concerns that there are "significant deficiencies" 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 househusband 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, when District Judge Quentin Purdy will decide whether he can be allowed bail.
During a short appearance at the same court on Wednesday, 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."
Defending, Euan Macmillan agreed that there are "significant deficiencies" with the document.
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, 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.
Mr Macmillan said he has lived "a blameless life" in Britain. Shocked friends on the outskirts of the capital described the Mafia bigwig as "one of the best neighbours you could ever have".
The court heard on Friday that a new warrant has been issued for Rancadore's arrest, and he will be re-arrested once the document has been translated from Italian. The hearing was adjourned until 3pm to allow time for this to be done.