An Italian man with suspected ties to the mafia, arrested on the strength of a European Arrest Warrant by police on Easter Sunday, had been living in Malta for the past 10 years and had strong family ties on the island.
Antonio Ricci, whose name had been banned from publication upon his arraignment last week, was back in court on Monday as extradition proceedings got underway.
A note by his defence team, making reference to local media reports which had breached the ban by publishing the man’s name, was turned down by the court assigned the hearing of the extradition proceedings.
That court, presided over by magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech, pointed out that the order banning publication had not been in terms of a particular provision of law which required such orders “to be signed by the registrar and posted up at the door” of the law courts.
Hence there was no order in force banning publication of Mr Ricci’s name, the court ruled.
The man, wanted by the Italian authorities for association with the mafia, as well as management and collection of illegal betting on behalf of a mafia organisation, had been residing in Malta for the past 10 years, defence lawyer Arthur Azzopardi…