London (AFP) - An alleged Italian mafia boss who was arrested in London after two decades on the run is expected to appear in court on Thursday to fight against his extradition.
Domenico Rancadore is wanted in Italy to serve a seven-year jail term for his role in the Sicilian mafia.
Italian authorities are seeking his extradition on charges including extortion, racketeering and drug trafficking.
He was granted conditional bail last November, but the decision was overturned in the High Court.
Judge John Goldring said there was "a real risk -- indeed a very real risk -- that he would abscond if granted bail".
The extradition hearing will be heard at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court.
Known in the mafia as "The Professor", Rancadore had been on Rome's list of most dangerous criminals.
He had been living in a modest suburban house in west London under the name of Marc Skinner, with his English wife and children, when he was arrested on August 8 last year.
Prosecutors told an earlier court hearing that Rancadore was a leader in a gang that "spread terror" on the Italian island of Sicily, "systematically murdering anybody who did not comply with the will of the members of the organisation".
Rancadore was convicted in his absence of Mafia links in Italy after he went on the run and moved to Britain in 1993.
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