Backpacker jailed in India to be transferred to UK

August 8th, 2010 - 2:22 pm ICT by ANI  

London, August 8 (ANI): A 33-year old backpacker from Kent, Patrick Malluzzo who has been serving a ten year sentence in one Rajasthan’s Kota prison with charges of possessing cannabis, has been given approval by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs to serve the remainder of his sentence in the UK after he fell seriously ill.

Patrick is suffering from malaria, dysentery, rat bites, depression, prostatitis and urinary dysfunction, The Independent states.

Malluzzo was arrested at Mumbai airport in 2004.

Patrick Malluzzo has spent six years in Rajasthan’s Kota prison, sharing a cell with more than 50 other inmates and has suffered serious illness.

“We are really pleased that the Indian government has decided to approve Patrick’s transfer to the UK. It’s not the happiest outcome because he will still have to spend time in prison, but what is important is to get Patrick home,” the paper quoted Patrick’s mother Teresa Malluzzo, as saying.

Fair Trials International, a UK based NGO that works for fair trials according to international standards of justice, had been working on his case since 2007 and described it as “a travesty - a grossly unfair trial in a language he could not understand”.

The NGO alleged that the trial that was conducted entirely in Hindi and presented no DNA or fingerprint evidence linking him to the drugs, found him guilty and sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.

After Malluzzo’s conviction, his lawyers lodged an appeal. It took four years to get to Rajasthan High Court. Summing up, the judge said that it was not relevant the trial had been held in a language he didn’t understand and the fact that he had never been in possession of the drugs was “devoid of merit”.

However, in February this year the conviction was upheld. (ANI)

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