British man wanted over murder in Italy refuses extradition

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British man wanted over murder in Italy refuses extradition
Westminster Magistrates' Court, in London, where extradition proceedings are underway against the prime suspect in the brutal murder of a British woman in Italy. (Photo by CARLOS JASSO / AFP)

Michael Whitbread faced a second court hearing on Thursday November 9th after saying he did not consent to be extradited to Italy where he is wanted on manslaughter charges.


Extradition proceedings began in London on Saturday against Michael Whitbread, wanted by Italian prosecutors on charges of aggravated voluntary manslaughter after his partner was found stabbed to death at their home near Casoli, Abruzzo.

READ ALSO: British man arrested after partner found murdered at Italian home

Whitbread, a 74-year-old British national who has lived in Italy for the past three years, was arrested in England on suspicion of murder on Wednesday night after the body of Michele Faiers was found that morning.

Italian police had launched an international manhunt for Whitbread, saying he had gone missing in the days before the body was discovered.

He was arrested in Shepshed, Leicestershire, after having driven to the UK via Switzerland. He had contacted his daughter, who tipped off the police, Italian media reported.

Whitbread appeared in custody on Saturday at a hearing as the extradition process began at Westminster magistrates court.

Whitbread, who UK media described as a retired driving instructor and shop owner, was asked if he consented to be extradited to Italy where he lives. From the dock, he replied “no”.

The court was told Whitbread was a grandfather with family in the UK and was visiting relatives, and that he had booked a return ticket to Italy, the BBC reported.

District judge John Zani said in court on Saturday that Whitbread had not been convicted of anything.


He told Whitbread: “The Italian authorities wish you to return to face trial there because it is a very serious allegation.

“In the event you are convicted, a very lengthy sentence of imprisonment would almost be inevitable.”

“You live in Italy and say that you were visiting family," he said. "I cannot ignore the fact that your visit here happened soon after the allegation of murder happened but a few days ago.”

Whitbread was ordered to next appear in custody at a preliminary hearing at the same court on November 9th.

The judge said the court was “working towards a full hearing” on February 26th, 2024.


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