VITO Palazzolo wants to be tried again for the Mafia-related crimes he was convicted of five years ago if he is forced to return to Italy.
Palazzolo, 64, an SA citizen who was based in the Western Cape, has been detained in Thailand for two months.
He is wanted in Italy, where he faces a nine-year prison sentence for Mafia-type associations that he was convicted of, in absentia, in 2007.
About two weeks ago, Antonio Ingroia and Gaetano Paci, two legal authorities from Palermo, Italy, who have worked on the Palazzolo case before, flew to Thailand to meet authorities and explain why they wanted to extradite him.
Palazzolo’s son, Christian von Palace, confirmed to the Cape Times last week that the two had been in Thailand for his father’s case. He said Palazzolo did not want to return to Italy.
But if he was forced to return, Von Palace said, his father wanted a retrial. At the time of the conviction, Palazzolo had not been present in court, having left Italy decades before. “He wants to be retried. He wasn’t even there the last time,” Von Palace said.
He said an extradition hearing for his father would be held early next month, and he planned to attend it.
Von Palace said whatever the outcome of the hearing, protracted legal proceedings were expected. “That’s not the end of it. With court cases, appeals can happen,” he said.
About a week ago, Italian publications, including the online publication Live Sicilia, reported that Palazzolo’s Italian attorney, Baldassare Lauria, had said that should Palazzolo be retried, he could shed light on unsolved mysteries in Italy.
Von Palace confirmed this had been said.
Department of International Relations and Co-operation spokesperson Clayson Monyela previously told the Cape Times the department could not speed up any actions Palazzolo may face.