Man convicted of rape in Italy challenges extradition after Malta arrest

An Italian man who raped his partner in front of her sleeping children and evaded jail by escaping to Malta is now contesting extradition

Italian facing extradition to spend time behind bars for rape conviction
Italian facing extradition to spend time behind bars for rape conviction

A man wanted in Italy to serve a six-year prison sentence for rape and domestic violence was arrested in Malta after an urgent international alert issued by the Italian authorities.

The man, Alessandro Ponti from Rogno, who is a Marsascala resident, was arraigned in court this morning by police inspector Mario Cuschieri and Attorney General prosecuting lawyer Matthew Xuereb.

The prosecution told magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo that Ponti had been arrested in Marsascala on Thursday afternoon after a court in Brescia issued a Schengen Information System alert, informing European police forces that he was a wanted man.

The fugitive is wanted in Italy to serve a prison sentence of just under six years after being convicted of a series of disturbing rape and domestic violence charges, which include threatening to kill his partner and raping her in the presence of her sleeping children.

Xuereb asked the court to proceed with the 45 year-old’s extradition according to law.

The court explained to Ponti that he had two choices: either to consent to his return to Italy or withhold consent, in which case proceedings would begin for a decision on his return.

He was informed that he was wanted to serve five years, 11 months and 10 days in prison and that if he did consent, he would be returned to Italy after a 10 day period and handed over to the custody of the Italian authorities.

But Ponti did not consent with his lawyer, David Harding, explaining that this client had not been properly assisted by a lawyer in the proceedings that led to his conviction.

Bail was not requested. The case for his extradition will continue on Monday.

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