The Joint Legal Defense Team of Mr. Francesco Corallo took notice of the press release and statements of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of August 3rd, 2018, about Francesco, and wishes to point out the following facts:
• While awaiting a decision on the extradition request of Italy, Francesco was held in detention in the police cells in Philipsburg for 246 days;
• On the day of his actual extradition, he was escorted by heavily armed members of the Sint Maarten Arrest Team, blindfolded, ankle- and handcuffed and delivered as such to the Italian authorities. This, whilst the local authorities knew very well that the Italian Court had by then already revoked the Italian detention order for Francesco;
• The European Court of Human Rights is expected to render a judgement shortly on the (il)legality of this detention and treatment of Francesco;
• Upon his arrival in Italy, Francesco was immediately released by the Italian authorities. He went home from the airport in a taxi, with the only obligation to report daily to a nearby police station within a fixed time-period of the day. Francesco has not been incarcerated, nor placed under house arrest, in Italy;
• The daily-reporting obligation was terminated last February, his passport returned and there are absolutely no restrictions on Francesco’s freedom;
• Francesco was extradited to Italy to be prosecuted for suspicion of committing the following crimes1:
– Involvement in a criminal association to:
– Embezzle taxes;
– Fraudulently endanger the recovery possibilities for tax debts.
• Preliminary hearings were recently conducted and the case was sent to trial. The first main hearing is scheduled for November 30th, 2018, in Italy;
• The Presiding Justice of the preliminary hearings stated by verdict dated July 16th, 2018, that although the Prosecutor presented over 500.000 pages in documents, it still has a long way to go to explain, show and prove why the described activities were illegal.2
Francesco maintains his innocence and the Joint Legal Defense Team confirms that all taxes and payments due to the Italian state have been paid, in conformity with the Italian legislation.
The accusations levied against Francesco lack both factual and judicial merit and we are therefore confident that Francesco will be fully acquitted.
The Joint Legal Defense Team of Mr. Francesco Corallo