Caryn Dolley

VITO PALAZZOLO is being detained in a cell with 13 other inmates and has to sleep on the floor. This information is contained in an affidavit by his son Christian von Palace Kolbatschenko.

In the affidavit, Von Palace Kolbatschenko, who lives in Franschhoek, details how he and his brother Pietro have struggled to get the SA government to assist their father, who has been in custody in Thailand since March 30.

Von Palace Kolbatschenko said their father was being detained in an immigration detention centre (IDC).

“I should here mention that my father is 64. He has prostate cancer, which is in remission, and a heart condition for which he requires daily medication.”

Von Palace Kolbatschenko believed his father was being unlawfully held in conditions dangerous to his health. “I should mention that early in the week of April 2, Pietro and I handed medicines essential to treating his chronic heart condition to an IDC officer and we discovered when we visited him that he had not received that medicine,” he said.

Von Palace Kolbatschenko said he and Pietro had tried to deliver food to his father, but had been turned away.

Von Palace Kolbatschenko and his family returned to SA on April 16. Pietro had stayed in Bangkok where Palazzolo’s wife, Tirtza, had joined him.

It is not yet clear whether Palazzolo will be extradited to Italy, where he faces a nine-year prison sentence, or returned to SA where he has lived for more than two decades.

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