x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Italian businessman fights extradition request

An Italian businessman who is wanted through Interpol asks for his trial to continue through Abu Dhabi's judiciary system and not Italy's, which he described as 'corrupt'.

ABU DHABI // An Italian businessman who is wanted by police in his home country today asked for his trial to continue in Abu Dhabi, claiming that Italy's judiciary system is corrupt.

Italian authorities requested the extradition of MN through Interpol after he moved to the capital last July. His case is now in the appeals court, which will decide whether the request is legitimate.

The businessman told the court yesterday that the public prosecutor in Savona, Italy, filed charges against him "because I denounced him in front of the president of the republic of Italy".

He said that the son of the prosecutor was his main competitor when he ran a contracting and real estate company in Savona, northern Italy. This, he claimed, motivated the prosecutor to allege he had driven his company to bankruptcy in an effort to avoid paying taxes.

His lawyer told the appeals court yesterday: "We have the receipts for the taxes and we gave them to Savona police."

However, he added that all the documents were in Italian and that no suitable translator for them could be found in Abu Dhabi.

"We ask the court for a long adjournment to give us a chance to translate the documents, there are many of them and we still can't find a translator. We will look in Dubai," said the lawyer.

The court then adjourned the case to August 14, with the businessman asking to stay in the country until then.

"I will leave my passport with the court if necessary, but I ask not be sent to Italy in that time," said the businessman, "I trust the justice system here. They can take as long as they want to look up my case. But if I go to Italy they won't do me justice."

He showed the court a document claiming the European Court of Human Rights had ruled that 800 cases had been unjustly settled by Italian courts. He also showed it a newspaper article about eight Italian judges who were facing lawsuits for alleged corruption.

hdajani@thenational.ae