Italy urged to close case of British man mistaken for mafia boss

September 14, 2021 By 0 Comments

The lawyer for a man from Liverpool mistakenly apprehended in the Netherlands on suspicion of being a notorious Sicilian mafia boss and the world’s most-wanted fugitive mobster, is calling for the Italian authorities to withdraw the execution of an arrest warrant against him.

Last Wednesday, around 5pm, a 54-year-old British man, identified by his lawyer as Mark L, was cuffed while he was having a meal in a restaurant in The Hague by heavily armed police who pulled a hood over his head and dragged him out in front of dozens of terrified customers, according to media reports.

The arrest came after Italy allegedly asked the Dutch authorities for the execution of an international arrest warrant, believing that the man was the number one mafia fugitive, Matteo Messina Denaro, who has been in hiding since 1993.

The man’s lawyer, Leon van Kleef, told the Guardian that: “When they told me he had been arrested because he was believed to be Matteo Messina Denaro, I thought they were joking. I mean, my client was born and raised in England and has an incredibly strong Liverpool accent. It was obvious from the start that there was a misunderstanding.”