74-Year-Old Man Faces Extradition in Connection with Italian Murder Case

Extradition Proceedings Initiated:

A 74-year-old man, Michael Whitbread, has been brought before Westminster Magistrates’ Court in the UK for extradition proceedings related to his suspected involvement in a murder case in Italy.

Italian authorities have sought his extradition as he is considered the prime suspect in the murder of a 66-year-old woman named Michele Faiers, who was found dead in her home near the town of Casoli, Italy.

Arrest in England:

Michael Whitbread was taken into custody in England on Wednesday evening on suspicion of being involved in the murder.

The victim, Michele Faiers, was discovered deceased at her residence in the proximity of Casoli that same morning.

The subsequent proceedings are part of the extradition process, as Whitbread faces potential extradition to Italy.

Extradition Request and Response:

During the court hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Whitbread, a retired driving instructor and shop owner, was asked whether he consented to being extradited to Italy, where he currently resides. In response to the query, he firmly stated ‘no.’

Details from Legal Authorities:

Representing the Italian legal authorities, Darren Watts informed the court about the nature of the case.

He described it as a murder involving the requested person’s partner, emphasizing the gravity of the allegations.

Watts further provided details that Whitbread had driven from Italy to the UK, arriving on Wednesday, which led to his arrest.

Legal Perspective:

District Judge John Zani made it clear that the accusation against Whitbread should be considered as such, emphasizing that he has not been convicted of any crime.

Judge Zani conveyed the seriousness of the Italian authorities’ wish to have Whitbread return to face trial, underscoring the possibility of a substantial prison sentence if convicted.

Next Court Appearances:

Whitbread was ordered to appear in custody for a preliminary hearing at the same court on November 9. The court is working towards a full hearing scheduled for February 26, 2024, at the same venue.

It was emphasized that Whitbread resides in Italy and had been visiting family in the UK.

Ongoing Investigations:

Leicestershire Police clarified that the man arrested in Shepshed, Leicestershire, on Wednesday has not been formally charged with a criminal offense.

The hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court is part of the extradition process, indicating that investigations are ongoing.

Detectives from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit major crime team continue to collaborate with various authorities, including the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the extradition team in the CPS’s Serious Economic and Organized Crime and International Directorate, and Italian authorities regarding this incident.

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