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Deportation of Giovanni Di Stefano

Volume 590: debated on Wednesday 14 January 2015

The Petition of Giovanni Di Stefano,

Declares that the Petitioner is currently detained at HMP Swaleside in Kent; further that the Petitioner was born in Italy; and further that the Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984 and the Council Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA are being breached as the Italian authorities have agreed that the Petitioner can be deported to serve the rest of his sentence in Italy, but the UK Government have failed to comply with the timeframe for deportation.

The Petitioner therefore requests that the House of Commons urges the Government to comply with the agreement and allow the Petitioner to be deported.

And the Petitioner remains, etc.—[Official Report, 16 December 2014; Vol. 589, c. 7P.]

[P001417]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Justice:

Government policy is to enable foreign national prisoners to serve their sentences in their own country wherever this is possible. To this end the United Kingdom is a party to a number of international arrangements providing for the transfer of prisoners. However, prisoners do not have a right to transfer and in individual cases transfer will not be appropriate. Where transfer is not appropriate Ministers will refuse transfer.

The Petitioner has sought transfer to a prison in Italy under Council Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA, otherwise known as the EU Prisoner Transfer Agreement. However, in addition to his sentence of imprisonment of 14 years, Mr Di Stefano was made subject to a Confiscation Order for a sum of money in excess of £2 million. Although a term of imprisonment of eight years and six months has been imposed in default, the debt remains outstanding. It is not appropriate that Mr Di Stefano should be transferred to a prison in Italy when he continues to owe such a significant sum to the British taxpayer.

In July 2014, both Mr Di Stefano and the Italian authorities were informed in writing that the transfer request had been refused and the reasons for this.